“They will see it as yet another slap in the face to the Russians and it will bother him. Definitely.”
It may be that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is probably not a regular viewer of Eurovision – but this year there may be a little extra at stake for him.
Neighboring Ukraine, which he sent his troops into at the end of February, is predicted to be the absolute big favorites to take the victory in the singing competition when the final is held on Saturday night.
And while it is not something that will change anything significant for Putin in relation to the war he is waging, he will ‘register it’.
ARCHIVE PHOTO by Vladimir Putin.
Photo: MIKHAIL METZEL / KREMLIN POOL /
This is the assessment of Flemming Splidsboel Hansen, who is a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (Diis):
“He will register it, I’m sure, because they will see it as another slap in the face to the Russians with the backing of the Ukrainians, and it will bother him, for sure,” he says.
According to Flemming Splidsboel Hansen, who usually follows Eurovision and has given lectures on Eurovision in a political context, a Ukrainian victory will hardly mean much in the big picture.
Instead, it will be another piece in what the Russians claim is Western hybrid warfare against the country:
Here is a picture of the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, who are considered big favorites to win Eurovision with the song ‘Stefania’.
Photo: YARA NARDI
“Right now they see hybrid war everywhere, and they have actually done so for many years,” explains Flemming Splidsboel Hansen and continues:
“When Russia has done poorly for Eurovision, then it is hybrid war. When Russian athletes have been told that they are not allowed to line up under the Russian flag, then it is hybrid war. When there have been accusations and revelations about doping, then it is hybrid war. When there has been an import ban on various things from Russia, then it is also hybrid war. Everything is almost hybrid war. “
Furthermore, the Danish researcher explains that Eurovision has been on the political radar for some years as an example of this in Russia.
“So it’s not because it does not matter (if Ukraine wins, ed.), But right now the situation is so high that I think Eurovision is a small disc that comes up to be on top of all that. other things that are already there, which the Russians believe is a major campaign from the West against Russia, “says Flemming Splidsboel Hansen and adds:
“One will see it as support for Ukraine, which one will resent.”