The presence of three Miss Russia 2015 candidates will pose a moral dilemma for Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International. Angelika Pomitun of Simferopol, Kristina Klimenko of Kerch and Anna Shkurenkova of Sevastopol are all from the region of Crimea, a disputed area that are, in the eyes of the Western countries, still part of Ukraine. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 after a referendum was conducted with the results show an overwhelming yes votes for the annexation.
Crimea is a contentious issue where Russia and the Western nations have opposing views. It enjoys an autonomous status within Ukraine and has been represented at the Miss Earth pageant as a separate entity. From Western viewpoint, Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine as borders were drawn post-Soviet Union. From Russian viewpoint however, Crimea is essentially Russian and was transferred to Ukraine in 1954 as a symbolic gesture for the 300th anniversary of the union of Ukraine and Russia. It didn’t matter back then as Ukraine is a Soviet Socialist Republic within USSR together with Russia.
Miss Russia Organization is a license holder of both Miss Universe and Miss World franchises and do send delegates at Miss International. By allowing these three regions from Crimea to participate in the national finals then essentially these three international pageants recognize that Crimea is now part of Russia. (Miss Earth will be spared from this as the Krasa Rossii pageant is its franchise holder in the country). This is in direct opposition with the official stand of the nations where both major pageants are based.
A Miss Russia competing at Miss Universe 2015 and Miss World 2015 will now essentially be representing the Russian Federation including the annexed region of Crimea. It would be interesting to see how Western nations including Ukraine would react to this. Will they lodge a protest like some countries did when Miss World allowed the participation of a white Miss South Africa and a black Miss Africa South [which basically mean that the pageant toed the line of the racist apartheid policies]?
As the West continues its aggressive policy of isolating Russia it will be just a matter of time before things will affect the beauty pageant standing of the country. In the 2014 pageant year, Russia relatively fared poorly as the country’s Miss World contestant failed to advance beyond Top 25 while its Miss Universe and Miss International candidate failed to make it to the semis. The only relief was that at Miss Earth, Russia placed fourth. With the participation of three Crimean beauties at the Miss Russia 2015 pageant, Russia could only hope that the Western political opinion will not encroach the international pageant scene at a faster rate.