May 17, 2022

In the bizarre world of Russian state television, the only reason they could come up with for Ukraine winning the Eurovision song contest was that they needed a morale boost because the war was going so badly for them. With upwards of 180 million viewers (and nearly 30 million in Russia alone), Eurovision dwarfs even the Super Bowl for a television audience.

Source: TV2/Norway

Ostashko calls Ukraine's victory dubious.

"Ukraine's victory in Eurovision and their use of Nazi slogans during the performance tells us one thing, and that is that things are going really badly for them on the front line. And they need to divert attention in a way, because we crush them down there," the host continues.

Appearing on Channel One he later added: "We always thought that Eurovision with Conchita Wurst* was as low as you could go, but then we knocked on the bottom, the trapdoor opened, and Ukraine was there!"

Russia didn't care about the music contest it said, except that Russian hackers twice tried to hack into the voting systems, both for the semi-final and final, and deny Ukraine's win. Italian cyber security stopped them both times. In response, the Russian hackers group 'Killnet' declared war on 10 countries.

(*A reference to the Austrian singer who won Eurovision in 2014, winning as a drag queen. Acute homophobia is nothing new for Russian state television.)

The BBC's Francis Scarr posted the clip to Twitter.

Over two months in and the Russians still haven't got a clue what they're up against.

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