The winner of Miss Crimea 2022 has been fined 40,000 Russian rubles ($680) by occupying Russian authorities for singing a patriotic Ukrainian song, according to Russian state media and pro-Russia regional authorities.
Olga Valeeva was spared a jail sentence because she has young children, Russian state news agency TASS reported. Her friend was sentenced to 10 days detention.
“In Crimea, no one is punished for normal Ukrainian songs,” Oleg Kriuchkov, adviser to the Russian administration head of occupied Crimea, said on Telegram.
“But! No one will allow nationalist hymns to be sung here! If you want to sing ‘Chervona Kalyna’ or ‘Our father is Bandera...’ we will provide a platform – we will take you to neutral territory to Nikolaev or Zaporozhzhia. Sing all you want!”
What she sang: “Chervona Kalyna” is a patriotic Ukrainian song that has gained virality over the course of Russia’s full-scale invasion, including a cover version by Pink Floyd. The lyrics urge the Ukrainian nation to rise up and “rejoice” like a red kalyna shrub (“chervona kalyna”) that has drooped in the field.
The Ukrainian region of Crimea was illegally annexed by Russian in 2014.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Crimea said that it identified a video online in which “two girls sang a song that is the battle anthem of an extremist organization.”
The two were detained on suspicion of “committing illegal actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, as well as publicly displaying prohibited symbols," the spokesperson added. They were subsequently found guilty by a court, the ministry said.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the reason why Valeeva was spared jail. According to Russian state media, it is because she has young children.