: Reuters: Russia and Ukraine set to battle it out on stage at Eurovision

17:15 May. 14, 2016

Reuters: Russia and Ukraine set to battle it out on stage at Eurovision

Jamala of Ukraine performs during the first dress rehearsal for the Eurovision Song Contest final in Stockholm, Sweden, May 13, 2016. (AP Photo)

Ukraine's song dedicated to the deportation of ethnic Tatars in 1944 disturbs Russia 

Politics could take center stage at the usually kitsch Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, with bookmakers making Russia favorite to win and the Ukrainian entry featuring lyrics about deportations by the Soviet Union.

In '1944', Ukraine's 32-year-old Jamala sings about strangers coming to "kill you all," saying "we're not guilty" - remembering a time when Josef Stalin deported Tatars from Crimea.

Jamala, herself a Tatar, stands alone on the Stockholm stage and sings "you think you are gods" against a blood-red backdrop - leading reporters and online commentators who have seen Ukraine's rehearsals and semi-final performance to draw parallels with Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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