Ukraine: Maruv won’t go to Eurovision 2019; All the details of the national selection drama

Ukraine: Maruv won’t go to Eurovision 2019; All the details of the national selection drama

The Ukrainian national broadcaster UA:PBC announced today that Vidbir 2019 winner,  MARUV won’t be the artist to represent the country in  Eurovision 2019.

MARUV was crowned winner of the Ukrainian national final ,Vidbir 2019, but her scheduled performance in Russia, with which Ukraine is in escalating dispute after Russia’s occupation of Crimea since 2014.


The political pressure by several politicians forced the national broadcaster to submit to Maruv a contract including specific terms that she had to comply with. The Ukrainian broadcaster and the act after hours of negotiations didn’t reach an agreement leading the broadcaster to publish the following announcement:

The National broadcaster and the singer MARUV, who won the national final for Eurovision, did not reach an agreement on her participation in Eurovision 2019 for several reasons.

Singer Anna Korsun (stage name – MARUV) won the National Selection as a result of an honest competition and received the maximum score from the audience. Her performance was highly appreciated by music experts, showbiz and spectators. However, the performer, who will represent Ukraine on the international arena, also has a commitment: after signing the contract with UA:PBC for the time of the contest the performer becomes a cultural ambassador of Ukraine and reports not only his own music, but also becomes the spokesman for the opinion of Ukrainian society in the world. After the negotiations, UA:PBC and the singer MARUV did not find a joint decision on the mission of the representative of Ukraine at the international song contest.

Also according to the rules of Eurovision (clause 2.6), the broadcasting participant must ensure non-political character of the competition. The current situation surrounding the nation-wide election this year has signs of politicization. Public resonance, attempts to exert pressure from the political forces, interfering in the discussion of cultural figures and the information structures of the aggressor country in fact led to the politicization of the results of the national selection.

The public broadcaster also sees in this situation the danger of an escalation of the split of Ukrainian society, which is contrary to the objectives of the Public Broadcasting Company (according to the Law of Ukraine on Public Broadcasting, one of the main tasks of UA:PBC is to promote the consolidation of Ukrainian society (Article 4., paragraph 2)).


CEO of UA: PBC,  Zurab Alasania added on his facebook account:

The artist to represent Ukraine must have a careful attitude to public statements concerning Ukraine’s territorial integrity or other statements that can harm Ukraine internationally. Not all of them are good Ukrainian acts ready ti become good cultural diplomats.


Speaking this evening on Pryamoy News Channel Viktor Taran who is a member of the Supervisory Board of UA:PBC has revealed more details regarding the negotiations between the broadcaster and MARUV. Mr Taran states that MARUV did not agree to three aspects of the contract that would have enabled her to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv.

According to Mr Taran who states he has spoken with the UA:PBC lawyers, MARUV and her lawyers did not agree that the singer should cancel all future appearances in Russia, should she wish to represent Ukraine in Eurovision. Nor that she should represent the views of Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest, or that she should share the views of the Ukrainian state if asked questions by journalists.


On the other hand  MARUV posted the following statement on her social media accounts: 

Today our meeting with UA: PBC lasted around seven hours , in which as a result, the two sides never came to an agreement.

A few hours before the draw i was asked to participate in the national preselection for “Eurovision-2019”. I agreed and won, ans with great pride i’m realy to represent my country, Ukraine, in the international song contest.

As i previously stated ,rejecting the concerts in Russia was a moral issue for us. The main disagreements have aroused from other clauses in the contract, which if i sign it will mean enslavement for me. I am a citizen of Ukraine, i pay my taxes and i sincerely love Ukraine. However, i’m not ready to play with slogans turning our participation in the contest in a promotion of our politicians. I’m a musician not a bat in the political arena. 

I honestly thank and appreciate all of those who believed in me and voted me. And i ask from you to accept the fact and not to go in any confrontation. This is today’s fact. I want to offer my creativity without any cencorship.

And she concludes in saying:

Tomorrow i will wake up with new strength – to win and promote my music to the world

Additionally the broadcaster’s chairman said that negotiations with a second act will begin tomorrow morning. It is not known whether the second act will be Freedom Jazz who finished 2nd in Vidbir 2019, or another one of the participants from the selection. However the group stated that so far no one has gotten in touch with them.


Speaking to Hromadske, Oleksandra Koltsova a member of the Board for UA:PBC has revealed that the broadcaster is set to talk to the European Broadcasting Union about whether they will continue to compete in Eurovision 2019. Ms Koltsova explained:

First, we will consult with the European Broadcasting Union about the politicisation of the selection process in Ukraine. How does this affect our participation this year?

Then we will talk to lawyers if we want to continue to participate as a broadcaster. Then we will talk to management of the artists. And then we will make a decision

Angelo D.

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