Miss Universe contestants and organisers not aware of the war in Ukraine

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Ukraine´s Miss Universe contestant has spoken of the horror of being on the same stage as the Russian contestant and that not all were there is a war on in her country.

Viktoria Apanasenko, who appeared in a Ukraine-coloured dress, said that the hardest part was seeing Miss Russia in a blood-red dress on the same day so many civilians died after their residential block was struck by a Russian missile.

She told the Daily Beast on Wednesday, January 18 that seeing Miss Russia sporting “the colour of blood” the reality of war hit home.

She said: “I am not sure the organisers understood what it felt like for me to be standing and smiling on the same stage with Miss Russia who was wearing a red dress, the colour of blood.”

But she said it was not just the organisers who were oblivious to the issue, with many of the contestants being blissfully unaware of what was unfolding in her home country. On that evening more than 40 died in the missile strike, with United Nations estimates putting the number of civilian deaths in Ukraine at more than 7,000.

She continued saying that she had hoped Miss Russia might express sorrow or regret for the situation instead of choosing to try and take a selfie “for what I think were propaganda purposes.”

Hoping to use the event to speak out about the atrocities, Apanasenko said she found it heart-breaking that she was not able to although she did send a strong message through her costume-segment gown, which included five-metre-long wings inspired by the biblical archangel Michael, who defends goodness.

As always the competition attracted controversy with claims that the event, which saw R’Bonney Gabriel of Texas crowned Miss USA and ultimately Miss Universe, was rigged.

The lack of awareness of the Miss Universe organisers and contestants that there was a war in Ukraine is a horrible indictment of such events, which have been criticised over many years for being derisory towards women.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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