Miss Universe's Russian delegate stirs controversy with 'imperial' dress amid Ukrainian conflict
The final of this year's Miss Universe contest has concluded. Representing the USA, R'Bonney Gabriel emerged victorious, followed by Amanda Dudamel from Venezuela in second and Andreína Martínez from the Dominican Republic in third place. Nevertheless, the candidate from Russia, Anna Linnikova, drew the most controversy.
Controversial attire from Miss Russia
Her very participation in the contest amid Russia's aggression towards Ukraine drew criticism towards the organizers. Criticism was further amplified following the presentation of national outfits, when Miss Russia appeared in a gold, gem-studded mini dress and a vibrant red coat. Additionally, she wore a crown symbolizing Russian imperialism. The outfit was created in collaboration with the Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg.
Immediately after the presentation, a surge of negative comments appeared online, directed at both the organizers for not excluding Russia from the competition, and towards Linnikova. Reactions also focused on specific elements of the outfit, namely the red coat, seen as insensitive amidst the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, and the crown, which was viewed as a stark symbol of Putin's obsession with asserting Russia's power. For these reasons, Anna Linnikova was tagged with a damning title by netizens: "Miss Genocide".
Anna Kalczyńska expresses outrage: "Disgraceful"
In an impassioned post, Anna Kalczyńska shared her thoughts on Linnikova's outfit. The TVN journalist labelled the contestant as "audacious" and posted a modified image depicting the Russian delegate standing amidst the ruins of a destroyed Ukrainian city.
"She paraded in an imperial Russian outfit on the very day her compatriots, perpetrators of violence, fired rockets on the country she so proudly represents, killing at least 30 innocent civilians in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro," Kalczyńska wrote on Instagram.
"Shame on the terrorists from Russia. Don't flaunt your imperial gowns drenched in innocent blood. Keep them for your own admiration, you have no place here," Kalczyńska wrote, garnering considerable support in the comments.