Vox Populi with Maryna Irkliyenko: Do you agree with statements made by ultra-nationalist party Svoboda that singer Gaitana should not represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest because she is b

Print version
Feb. 23, 2012, 9:27 p.m. | Vox Populi — by Maryna Irkliyenko

Maryna Irkliyenko

Kyiv Post Staff Writer

Do you agree with statements made by ultra-nationalist party Svoboda that singer Gaitana should not represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest because she is black?
Hanna Sladkova,

“I agree with Svoboda party. She should be Ukrainian if she represents Ukraine, because Ukrainians are white. We don’t have common history with blacks. We are Slavs. All my friends and everybody I know say ‘why Gaitana? Found a real Ukrainian, huh?’”

Davyd Bespol,

“I don’t think skin color matters, due to those processes that take place with Ukraine being on its way to Euro-integration. I think that skin color, religion or other preferences should not affect the choice of the candidate to represent Ukraine.”

Olena Sira,

“This is about show business, so it doesn’t bother me. It’s not that I don’t care who would represent Ukraine, but since it has already been decided, there is nothing we can do about it, so I don’t mind.”

Ivan Poralo,

“I don’t think skin color matters. [Regarding black people] everything is great with football, basketball and hockey, why there should be problems with music concerts? Today geographical borders don’t have any meaning, since we live … in [an] information society.”

Halyna Kyry­chenko,

“My opinion is that if this black person was born in Ukraine and is a Ukrainian citizen, let her represent Ukraine. Especially if this person is talented and has got a good singing voice. There shouldn’t be other criteria here.”

Vox Populi is not only in print, but also online at with different questions. If you have a question that you want answered, e-mail the idea to
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
S B Feb. 23, 2012, 10:54 p.m.    

I'm more concerned to know if she speaks Ukrainian than the colour of her skin...

{# <-- parent id goes here
Paul Worthington Feb. 25, 2012, 10:46 a.m.    

I'm more concerned what the world thinks of us. If this is our image, they will think Black crime and riots are here. As in London Riots of 2011.

Since the US has had a Mixed-Race representative, Obama, a Kenyan-American, the U.S. economy has gone down and debt has gone up.

Every country with a race-mixing agenda from the USSR and mixed-race Lenin to Obama has found economic disaster ultimately.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Dirk Feb. 24, 2012, 6:39 a.m.    

She's not a black; she's a mulatto. Just like America's president. And, yes, multiculturalism is a failed concept. Disagree? Check with Germany....

{# <-- parent id goes here
Kozak Nevidomiy Feb. 24, 2012, 6:34 p.m.    

Gaitana should represent Ukraine. She sings Ukrainian language songs and has done so in the past. If she can sing in Ukraine, was born in Ukraine and IS a citizen of Ukraine then she can represent the country. Look at how many so called &quot;Ukrainian&quot; singers and pop stars like Iryna Bilyk and Ani Lorak to name a few who sing exclusively in Russian. Send these malorossy-yanichary pop stars to Russia so that they can represent Russia and let Gaitana represent Ukraine. I would also appreciate if the author of this article can provide the readers with a source directly from Svoboda and Oleh Tiahnybok to verify the allegation.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Paul Worthington Feb. 25, 2012, 10:42 a.m.    

No I don't think she represents the Ukraine any more than a Black immigrant to China represents China.

The world and the West sees this as a transparent attempt at pandering.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Jaroslaw Sawka Feb. 26, 2012, 5:53 a.m.    

At least she can SPEAK and SING in UKRAINIAN unlike the moronic &quot;white&quot; chicks who couldn't even SPEAK in their own language representing us in world International &quot;beauty&quot; contests where apparently only &quot;meat&quot; counts but no brains!!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Jaroslaw Sawka Feb. 26, 2012, 6:26 a.m.    

what were the &quot;statements made by ultra-nationalist party Svoboda that singer Gaitana should not represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest because she is black?&quot;

Quote in context without distortion and an attempt to create hysteria...

{# <-- parent id goes here
rcd1 Feb. 26, 2012, 6:44 p.m.    

I find the whole argument to be repulsive, idiotic, senseless and a total embarrassment to Ukraine. Firstly... for a country that has aspirations to join a multicultural European Union you better recognize quickly that racist attitudes are not tolerated in the more advanced democracies and you cannot hide behind ignorance and ignorant actions. This should serve as a wake up call to all Ukrainians. Are you truly upholding the true universal values that all humanity is equally valid respective of skin color. Secondly, the whole issue of racism (especially against African or so called Blacks) is ridiculous and has nothing to do with anything except jealousy, greed and hatred. People that are nothing, have, nothing, accomplished nothing and most likely will be nothing often use the color of skin as a stepping stone to falsely uplift themselves and try use these people for no fair legitimate reason to appear as if they are better when in fact they are not... they are worse. It's really that simple.

You will never convince an ignorant idiot that he is indeed a foolish ignorant idiot, and so too is it a waste of time to deal with racist idiots. Let them lay in the cesspool of crap that they live in. The number of them already live miserable lives as a result of their own self inflicted hatred and bad deeds. For the rest of the civilized more intelligent world we know that it is the attitude and actions of the woman and man that truly define them. If you are born in Ukraine, lived in Ukraine, speak Ukrainian, then it does not mater if your skin color is green... you are Ukrainian. I applaud and salute most Ukrainians that know and understand this and treat all people with dignity and respect. Most Ukrainians have it hard enough in the present economy trying to survive and certainly are intelligent and cultured enough to know that race is a ridiculous argument. The lack of Political, Judicial and Social equity is why they are well educated and well experienced by year after year but work like dogs and get little in return and little hope for positive change... not because of people with darker or different colored skin. Geez.... really, really stupid!!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Andrew Olexander Feb. 27, 2012, 12:06 a.m.    

The test of a worthy representative for Ukraine at Eurovision (or anywhere else) is NOT skin color, race or religion.

The true test should only be what is in her heart... and love for Ukraine and her people is definitely in Gaitana's heart.

Well done to her - and good luck for a brilliant performance at Eurovision!!!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Ryan Crim March 4, 2012, 7:59 p.m.    

I think this is absolutely crazy that this is happening, i'm from the UK and have listened to her song 5 times in a row and believe this is a serious contender, it's the Eurovision Song Contest and she was born in Ukraine so therefore she is a Ukranian. For the UK we have many black and singers of different races and even had a few in the Eurovision, do we be racist to them, no!

{# <-- parent id goes here


© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.