UKRAINE – On 23 February 2019, Maruv won the final of Євробачення. Національний відбір; meaning Eurovision. National Selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Her win was marred by controversy about her concerts in Russia.
The rights to her Eurovision song, “Siren Song”, belong to the Russian record label Warner Music Russia and the label had organised her first ever solo concert to be held in Moscow at Izvestia Hall on 6 April 2019.
After it became clear that she would be performing in two concerts in Russia the following months, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Vyacheslav Kyrylenko stated that artists who toured Russia or “did not recognise the territorial integrity of Ukraine” should not take part in Eurovision.
During the final, when asked on stage whether Crimea is part of Ukraine, she replied affirmatively, but when asked if Russia was an aggressor, she replied: “if the country has a bad president, that doesn’t mean that all the people who live there are evil”.
After the show, when Ukraine’s Channel 24 asked her to describe what was happening in Donbass and her position towards it, she replied: This is a very difficult question for me to answer, because my relatives have lost their homes there and it is very difficult for me to talk about it. But I want peace to come at last and all this to be over.
On 24 February the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA: PBC) offered Maruv a contract; one of the terms forbid her to hold concerts in Russia. Maruv saw no harm in performing in Russia claiming “performing concerts is my way of bringing peace,” later she confirmed she was willing to postpone her concerts.
Maruv stated that the issue of not touring in Russia was not critical to her, and the major disagreement was about other conditions of the contract which she described as a cabal.
She said that she is a tax-paying citizen of Ukraine and genuinely loves her country, however she is not ready to turn her participation in the contest into the “promo-action of Ukrainian politicians”. “I am a musician, not the baseball bat on the political arena”, she said.
The next day it was revealed that UA: PBC and Maruv were not able to reach an agreement on her participation in the contest. As a result of the controversy Ukraine withdrew from Eurovision 2019, which they had been tipped to win.