Alina Pash will not sing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. In a post shared on Wednesday afternoon, she made it clear that the ongoing saga of her 2015 visit to Crimea has become too much for her.
“I don’t want to be part of this dirty story anymore,” she said, just hours after it was revealed that one of her team members had forged travel documents to make it look like she’d traveled to the region legally.
In her statement she said:
“I am a citizen of Ukraine. I follow the laws of Ukraine. I try to carry the traditions and values of Ukraine into the world. What’s been poured into this story is not at all what I put into my song.”
“I am an artist, not a politician. I do not have an army of PR people, managers, lawyers to resist all these attacks and pressure, the break-in of my social networks, the threats. And also the absolutely unacceptable words that people allow themselves without understanding the situation and forgetting about the dignity of every citizen of Ukraine. I don’t want this virtual war and hatred. The main war now is an external one, which came to my country in 2014.”
“I don’t want to be in this dirty story anymore. With a heavy heart I unfortunately withdraw my candidacy as the representative of Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest. I’m really sorry.”
“We will contact the public broadcaster [Suspilne] and sign all the necessary documents.”
“Separately, I want to thank everyone who supports and helps me, who hears my song and important message, rather than gossiping about me. Thanks! We have a story going on with you, and we have to decide what it will be.”
She finished her statement with a heart emoji.
View this post on Instagram
Day by day, hour by hour. So it has gone for Alina Pash and Ukraine at Eurovision 2022.
Her official withdrawal came just ninety minutes after she posted about her upset after learning a team member had forged her travel documents.
Yesterday the CEO of Eurovision broadcaster Suspilne said that “crooks” should not represent Ukraine and that he was awaiting official confirmation from the border agency about whether Alina entered Crimea illegally in 2015.
This morning Alina addressed the ongoing speculation that the travel documents she submitted to the broadcaster were fakes.
She said that while she and her team were waiting for an official response from the country’s border service about obtaining the documents, someone in her team had decided to “help” by locating the information as soon as possible and potentially creating a fake document.
Alina says she is now removing this person from her team.
Interestingly, and as Depo reports, the State Border Guard Service said that they deleted the travel information from the database, so could not provide Pash with a travel certificate. All of the information about border crossings is stored for five years, and Alina went to Crimea in 2015.
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The caption reads roughly as follows:
“As promised, the first thing we did was to find out the circumstances within the team that gave rise to the SBGS [border control] spokesman’s statement about the illegitimate certificate. It turned out that while we were waiting for an official response to my request from the Border Guard, a member of my team tried to find this information as soon as possible and chose the wrong path, which neither I nor any of us would agree with.”
“It looks official. It contained the real dates of entry into the temporarily occupied Crimea, correctly indicated by the Chaplynka checkpoint, through which I crossed the administrative border. No one on the team had reason to believe that the certificate was not valid.”
“Exactly how and from where a member of our team could obtain the document provided to the Public is currently unknown. If the information provided by a member of our team to the Public Broadcaster is forged or false, law enforcement and the court must draw their own conclusions. For our part, we are ready to help establish the truth.”
“On behalf of my team, I want to apologize to Ukrainians, to the Public Broadcaster, to everyone who observes this negative noise around me. It is a pity to realize that such heavy and unpleasant sticks are pushed into the wheels. I understand that the person on my team was driven by the desire to help, but this kind of help is unacceptable. I am a citizen of Ukraine, I follow the laws, support traditions, bring Ukraine into the world! For me, dignity and honor are much more important than winning any competition.”
“Today I am breaking off relations with my director, this is already being done by lawyers. I received an answer to my own request to the SBGS today at 11:00. [The information is currently with the Public Broadcaster]. To be continued…”
UA:PBC has now responded. You can read their full statement here.
Do you hope that Vidbir runners-up Kalush Orchestra will get the spot at Eurovision? What do you make of all this? Let us know in the comments box below.