Alina Pash was due to represent Ukraine at Eurovision this year after winning the national selection, however she has since withdrawn.
The participation of Alina Pash was questioned after allegations she had entered Crimea illegally back in 2015. Under Ukrainian law, anyone wishing to visit Crimea must obtain permission from the Ukrainian government and enter via Ukraine.
A cross check between the broadcaster and the State Border Guard Service raised questions about the legitimacy of Alina’s paperwork.
Alina released a statement regarding her participation, which said:
“I am a citizen of Ukraine, I follow the laws of Ukraine, I try to bring the traditions and values of Ukraine to the world. What this story turned out to be 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 and lawyers to resist all these attacks and pressure, hacking my social media accounts and threats. And neither do I have them to resist the completely unacceptable wording that people use without the situation and forgetting the dignity of all Ukrainian citizens.
I don’t want this virtual war and hate. The main war now is the foreign one which came to my country in 2014.
I don’t want to be part of this dirty story anymore. With a heavy heart, I withdraw my candidacy as a representative of Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest. I am incredibly sorry.
We will contact UA:PBC and sign all of the necessary documents.
On a side note, I want to thank everyone who supports me and helps me, who listens to my song and the important message, and not gossip about me. Thank you!
The story continues with you and it is up to us to decide what it will be.
Let’s unite! Now it is more important than ever!”
UA:PBC now have the right to select another participant to represent Ukraine in Turin. The broadcaster will discuss their options during a meeting on the 18th of February.