Why Vladimir Putin takes Eurovision seriously

Why Vladimir Putin takes Eurovision seriously


norman lebrecht

May 14, 2016

He’s the only world leader to give more than a passing glance to a contest that viewers in most countries regards as an outworn joke. So what’s in it for Russia?

Fascinating BBC analysis here.

It seems likely that Russia will win.

The 2014 winner – not Putin’s type


  • Sue says:

    Well, Eurovision is probably Putin’s highest cultural aspiration!! When he’s not shooting down the commercial aircraft from western countries he’s singing the empty tunes of the gawdy Eurovision Contest.

    • Peter says:

      Actually he can decently play piano, unlike 99% of the western mediocre technokrates. Also he funds a lot of classical music infrastructure, unlike any western leader except German chancellor Merkel maybe, who is also a cultivated person. If I look to the political class of the UK or the US I’m shaken with disgust.

  • CDH says:

    That’s a bit asinine, considering the amount of criticism Putin gets around here for his association with Gergiev, his honours to various Russian classical pianists, etc.

    However, as everywhere else, probably more Russians relate to the sort of music provided at Eurovision than to the sonorities of the Mariinsky.

  • MacroV says:

    You’re denying Azerbaijan due credit. Back in 2009 their intelligence service reportedly interrogated people who voted for the Armenian entry, and apparently both countries have used Eurovision as a political weapon periodically. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia%E2%80%93Azerbaijan_relations_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest

  • Sue says:

    Putin won’t be smiling because Ukraine has won the Eurovision. Putin’s last effort in Ukraine cost thousands their lives, including the passengers on a commercial jet liner.

    Memo to self: ignore anybody who says Putin is good for anything except running the KGB. Oh, wait…isn’t that what he’s doing already?

    • Anon says:

      If the US didn’t meddle their stinky fingers and pout billions of dollars into destabilizing these places in the neighborhood of Russia, none of those conflicts would have escalated. We see the US global hegemony agenda at play. Now go back to your brain washing machine.

      • M2N2K says:

        Apparently that “machine” is too busy performing its special magic on you, and it’s working brilliantly!