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Ukraine picks Crimean Tatar singer for Eurovision

Susana Jamaladinova, who performs under the stage name Jamala, was chosen Sunday night

Baku. 22 February. REPORT.AZ/Ukraine has chosen a Crimean Tatar singer and her song about the mass deportation of Tatars under Josef Stalin as the country's entry for this year's Eurovision song contest, Report informs citing the foreign media.

Susana Jamaladinova, who performs under the stage name Jamala, was chosen Sunday night by the combined votes of a three-person jury and some 380,000 votes from viewers watching the televised final round.

Her song "1944" refers to the year in which Stalin uprooted Tatars from their homeland and shipped them in badly overcrowded trains to Central Asia; thousands died during the journey or starved to death on the barren steppes after they arrived. They were not allowed to return to Crimea until the 1980s; Jamaladinova was born in Kyrgyzstan.

The song is a peculiar combination of a mid-tempo pop confection and anguished lyrics. "When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say 'We're not guilty'," the song begins.

"That terrible year changed forever the life of one fragile woman, my great-grandmother Nazylkhan. Her life was never the same," Jamaladinova told journalists before the Sunday broadcast.

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