Saturday, May 14, 2016 11:50 pm
Ukraine has won Eurovision Song Contest for 2016.
Kiev is represented by Jamala, who sang “1944,” a song inspired by her great-grandmother’s story.
It recounts the deportation of the Crimean Tatars by Soviet strongman Joseph Stalin, and she sings partly in the Tatar language, she says, because “it’s in my blood.”
The song has resonance for contemporary Ukraine, where memories of that horror were revived by Russia’s seizure of Crimea and Jamala’s poignant lyrics tell the story of a people with a history of persecution that continues to this day.
Political leaders in Moscow and Crimea protested against the song for, they say, criticising Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula in March 2014.
But the jury approved the lyrics nonetheless, setting the stage for a monumental confrontation.