More Eurovision blowback. Because, of course, nothing else of interest is going on in the world! Today, just a small tidbit, this story has been making waves on the Russian blogosphere.
But first, as another famous European singer Maria von Trapp used to say:
“Let’s Start At the Very Beginning…”
There is a Soviet/Russian actor named Stanislav Yurievich Sadalsky, now 64 years old, who has enjoyed a long career making popular movies and now also engages in blogging. Yesterday, on his blog, Sadalsky made a rather bold claim, concerning the parents of Eurovision victor Jamala.
Brief biography: Sadalsky was born in the Chuvash Autonomous Republic of the USSR, in a small village called Shygyrdan. Both of his parents were schoolteachers, and the family lived in a communal dormitory. Family life was not happy: Father Yury Alexandrovich beat his wife and children; Stanislav’s mother died when the boy was only twelve, purportedly from a spousal beating
After the death of their mother, Stanislav and his brother were moved into a boarding school. After a rocky start, Stanislav finally found success in life as an actor. He logged over 90 roles in various movies, both in Soviet and post-Soviet times.
In 2007 Sadalsky was awarded honorary citizenship of the nation of Gruzia, along with the Gruzian Order of Honor. He even made it into the inner circle of Gruzian leader, then candidate for President, Mikhail Saakashvili. During the 2008 war (Gruzia vs. Ossetia/Russia), Sadalsky took the Gruzian side against Russia.
Since then Sadalsky has continued to take an active role in Russian politics, blogging and even hosting a TV show. Since January of 2016 he has hosted a show called “Tabletka” on Russian Channel 1. His segment is about health issues.
Sadalski’s earlier unhappy life perhaps did not prepare him properly for a family life of his own. His Finnish girlfriend, with whom he had a daughter, left him to return to Finland, and Sadalsky has only been allowed to see his daughter a couple of times.
When asked to explain his ethnic roots, Sadalsky has said: “I have a lot of mixed blood in me: Chuvash, Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish. I have no Russian blood. And yet I consider myself to be a Russian artist.”
Sadalsky On Jamala
Moving now to our lede: Yesterday Sadalsky made waves on the Russian blogosphere when he claimed that the parents of Eurovision winner Susana Jamaladinova (aka “Jamala”) had voted for Crimean Reunification with Russia. This fact, if true, would constitute the height of irony. Given that Jamala’s song, an overtly political and propagandistic entry about the deportation of her ancestors by the Soviet government in 1944, so touched the hearts of the Western jury (and we all know how deeply Westies care about the fates of indigenous peoples), that they have been weeping unstop about the plight of the Tatars ever since they heard this heartbreaker.
Now, of course, as many blog commenters rushed to point out, there is absolutely no way that Sadalsky could possibly know how Jamala’s parents voted in the privacy of their voting booth on the Crimean peninsula. More than likely, the actor is just spouting off about things he doesn’t know.
Sadalsky’s claim makes for an interesting story, nonetheless. If nothing else, it shows how a member of the Russian artistic community can evolve in his views over the years, from politically anti- to pro-Russia. And a little thing called Maidan possibly had something to do with that change.
Here is the blogpost in which Sadalsky makes his extraordinary claim. I translate word for word:
Jamala’s parents voted for the Reunification of Crimea with Russia. Not only that, but they helpfully filled out the so-called “Putin Application” for rehabilitation, and now (as a result) they receive subsidies for communal services — they get a 50% discount on water, electricity and gas, and also enjoy free vacations to the sanitoria. All in all, they are living well and are perfectly happy. They have no intention of moving to Kiev and hopping up and down on the Maidan. (….)
Jamala’s Mom Speaks Out
Meanwhile, the Russian and Ukrainian blogosphere also rushed to show this video interview with Jamala’s mom, Galina Tumasova. Jamala’s parents, like all of her relatives, live in Crimea. Jamala (=Susana) spent her childhood in the Crimean village of Malorechenskoe, near the Black Sea resort of Alushta.
Susana comes from a musical family: Her mother is a singer and teaches music. Her father also sings, and studied conducting.
Here is what Susana’s proud mother stated in the video interview:
“I never doubted for one second (that she would win). Even yesterday, when they were counting the votes, and the preliminary prognoses were coming out — maybe second place, maybe third place — and my husband lost hope, he was bouncing around, saying, it won’t happen. But even then I never doubted that she would win. I believed in her to the very last!”
Susana’s mom goes on to say, that she and her husband always collaborated with their daughter. All being musicians, they helped her with her singing. “All the compositions which she writes, she shows to us first. We listen to them very intently and we give her our opinion.”
When asked if Susana ever returns to the Crimea to visit, her mom says: “Very very rarely. She is a very creative personality, and she is always super busy with her various projects. Usually I go there, to see her. As a matter of fact, I was there just recently, I was right there with her while she was rehearsing for Eurovision.”
Here is the youtube video intereview with Galina Tumasova: