Russia Adds New Name to Wanted List

( – Ukrainian singer Susana A. Dzhamaladinova, known simply as Jamala by her fans, is now a wanted woman in Russia. The outspoken advocate for Crimea’s Tatar region, which Russia took by force in 2014, stands accused of spreading false information about the Kremlin’s Army. There’s no word on her official charges.

The New York Times reports that the move is probably more symbolic than anything. It noted that Jamala responded to the news on Instagram by posting a picture of herself with a face-palm emoji. The singer was in Australia at the time and took the photo in front of the Sydney Opera House.

Jamala, who met in November 2022 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to an official press release, has been vocal in her opposition to Russia’s numerous invasions throughout her home region. She refers to Russian troops as “foreigners” whose only objective has been to “kill and mutilate” the Ukrainian people and crush their culture.

Russia is reportedly targeting numerous high-profile activists both inside and outside the country. The Moscow Times explains that Russia took the Crimean Peninsula, which is officially part of Ukraine, in 2014. Occupation in that region enabled the Kremlin to stage its full-scale invasion into the neighboring country in 2022.

Many people in opposition to the assaults, which include regional Ukrainians, Russians, and Crimean Tatars — a Muslim, Turkish-speaking native population that has long suffered persecution from Russian leaders — have fallen victim to political arrests and kidnappings. Jamala has been particularly supportive of the latter group, of which she claims heritage and has made the subject of some of her most famous work. The performer’s 2016 song about her people’s treatment under Stalin, “1944,” won that year’s highly acclaimed Eurovision contest.

Jamala is one of over 30 artists from Ukraine who, due to their activism, are no longer allowed to enter Russian territory freely.

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