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Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Ukrainian Winner of Eurovision Song Contest

According to state news agencies, Russia has placed a Ukrainian singer, Susana Jamaladinova, who won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, on its wanted list.

An Interior Ministry database listed the singer as being sought for violating a criminal law.

Jamaladinova was charged under a law that bans spreading fake information about the Russian military and the ongoing fighting in Ukraine, as reported by the independent news site Mediazona.

Performing under the stage name Jamala, the singer is of Crimean Tatar descent and won the 2016 Eurovision contest with the song “1944,” a reference to the year the Soviet Union deported Crimean Tatars en masse.

Russia annexed Crimea two years prior to her winning performance, which occurred amidst political turmoil in Ukraine, with most other countries considering the annexation as illegitimate.

Russia protested against “1944” being allowed in the competition, citing rules against political speech in Eurovision. However, the song did not explicitly criticize Russia or the Soviet Union, despite drawing such implications.

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