RUSSIA – In an interview with the BBC, Russia’s entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 has spoken of the hatred she’s received.
Manizha Sangin has been met with a barrage of abuse from nationalist politicians and online commentators.
The Tajik-born pop star, who is an outspoken supporter of the LGBT community, women’s rights and migrants, is heading to Rotterdam with the female empowerment anthem ‘Russian Woman’.
The BBC’s Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg went to meet her.
“It was very hard to understand that someone can hate you so much […] You can not like my voice, you can not like my song. But if you don’t like me because I was born in Tajikistan, that was hard […] I will pray to God that your aircraft will crash, you know, when you will go to Rotterdam (a message she received) […] I’m a normal person, I’m a human. Υou know? I have feelings, and of course, I’ve had these thoughts, but now I have a lot of support. I can see it. Not only from media and media people, from people who think the same as me. And this thing is supporting me, this thing makes me stronger, and I’m like “I will go on the stage, whatever it is, I will go on the stage and I’m gonna do my job, yeah, I’m gonna do it”.
Manizha issues a statement / manifest against all the negative reactions and bullying she received since she won the national final (or whatever that was) in Russia. Manizha has been subjected to numerous calls for the singer to be replaced following her victory in the Russian national selection, considered by some as “non-Russian”, totally pro LGBT right.