Putin ally lambasts Conchita Wurst

Last updated 23:27 15/05/2014
President Vladimir Putin walks with Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin

RUSSIAN FRONT: President Vladimir Putin walks with Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin.

Conchita Wurst
VICTORY: Austria's Conchita Wurst won the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest last week.

Relevant offers


Pope Francis drops some 'papal beats' in new #popebars meme Russia approves detailed sanctions against Turkey over downed plane Five injured in pipe bomb blast near Istanbul metro - local mayor Merkel cabinet backs German role in military campaign against IS Tale of two new leaders - Trudeau and Turnbull - at the Paris Climate Conference Pope Francis releases heavenly rock album Woman given a card on the Tube by group which 'hates fat people' Putin says Turkey shot down Russian plane to defend IS oil supplies With climate at 'breaking point', leaders urge breakthrough in Paris Obama: Climate change pact an 'act of defiance' after Paris attacks

A confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of trying to impose decadent values on the rest of the world, saying the bearded drag queen who won the Eurovision Song Contest last weekend symbolised its "ethno-fascism".

Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin, who has said he is flattered to be on a US sanctions list introduced in response to the Ukraine crisis, launched a broad attack on Western values at a conference in Berlin.

He said the United States spoke about fighting for democracy but wanted to impose its values on others. He cited sanctions slapped on the initiator of a Russian law against homosexual "propaganda" and Conchita Wurst's Eurovision win last weekend.

"A vulgar ethno-facism from the distant past has once again become part of our lives," said Yakunin at the German-Russia Forum in the German capital.

"The ancient definition of democracy had nothing to do with bearded women but with the leadership of the people."

Even before the crisis in Ukraine erupted, Russia had drawn criticism from the West for its ban on what it terms propaganda about homosexuality. It says the ban is meant to protect minors.

The openly gay Austrian singer Wurst has called her success at the Eurovision Song Contest a victory over the forces of intolerance, including Russia's Putin.

Yakunin urged Europeans to distance themselves from the United States and said the sanctions imposed were "pure propaganda, purely political steps".

"Why is it that everything that comes from across the ocean is good - even the Iraq war?" said Yakunin. "But any attempt by Russia to make a proposal is viewed negatively."

Yakunin was targeted on a US sanctions list in March in response to Russia's moves to annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea, which triggered the worst crisis in the West's relations with Russia since the Cold War.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content