Fact Check: ESC Winner Kalush Orchestra Wrongly Placed in Nazi Corner

Panorama Fact check

ESC winner wrongly placed in Nazi corner

Russian media and politicians repeatedly attempt to portray Ukraine as a right-wing extremist, often with totally unproven Nazi allegations Russian media and politicians repeatedly attempt to portray Ukraine as a right-wing extremist, often with totally unproven Nazi allegations

Russian media and politicians repeatedly attempt to portray Ukraine as a right-wing extremist, often with totally unproven Nazi allegations

What: AP/Luca Bruno

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Did rapper Oleh Psjuk show his right-wing attitude after winning the Eurovision Song Contest record? Pro-Russian activists accused him of this. But what does the supposed evidence really show? A fact check.

NOTfter their record win in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), pro-Russian activists have accused Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra of being close to fascism. On Sunday night, rapper Oleh Psjuk reportedly displayed his right-wing attitude on the ESC stage in Turin, Italy. But the video footage released with the prosecution is severely cut.

Claim: Psjuk made the Hitler salute.

Evaluation: Nothing indicates it. The singer applauded the audience.

Facts: With often completely unproven Nazi allegations, the Russian media and politicians repeatedly attempt to label Ukraine and the West as a whole as right-wing radicals and National Socialists, and thus justify the war of aggression by Moscow against the neighboring country.

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Currently featured: The Kalush Orchestra group, which fascinated the European public with its song “Stefania” and won the Grand Prix of Turin with a sensational result. After his performance in the contest, Psyuk asked, especially in regard to the defenders of the Azov Steel Mill in Mariupol: “Please help Ukraine, Mariupol, help the Azov Steel Mill now!”

The unsubstantiated accusation of showing the Hitler salute mainly relates to a scene after the trophy was presented to Kalush Orchestra shortly before the end of the ESC broadcast. As the band leaves the stage, Psjuk can be seen with his right arm outstretched and his hand visibly outstretched. He obviously celebrates the victory with the gesture.

Short excerpts are broadcast on social media with the Nazi accusation – however, the excerpts are often manipulated: for some, the scene starts so late that Psjuk’s hand is only shown from the side. In others, image detail is so reduced that the camera does not capture the outstretched hand.

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Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin

Polish CES moderator Ida Nowakowska is also accused of having radical right-wing ideas. When she announced her country’s twelve points for “Stefania”, she also reportedly showed the Hitler salute. For a brief moment, you can see that she seemingly forms her fingers in a sign of peace. After that, the hand is no longer captured by the camera.

Pro-Russian activists also accuse Psyuk of promoting fascists by calling for support for Mariupol fighters. According to inaccurate estimates, about 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers were the last in the vast factory. Many of them are injured, recently many of them were able to be evacuated.

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