A recent post by the Miss Universe Ukraine at its vkontakte (Russian social media site) account is more of a final walk than anything else. The post was signed by Oleksandra Nikolayenko, national director of Ukraine who took over the franchise from Miss Ukraine Organization in 2006. Her vkontakte message is basically about thanking Donald Trump for the chance of handling the Ukrainian franchise. But it is not a simple thank you message but more like a farewell statement.
Oleksandra brought life to the lackluster performance of Ukraine at Miss Universe. Before her, no Ukrainian woman has ever landed to the semis. Using her own experience at the pageant and her husband’s business contacts in the US, Oleksandra almost brought home the crown with Olesya Stefanko in 2011. But is the vkontakte post a sign that Oleksandra is exiting the pageantry industry or perhaps Ukraine might not be participating at Miss Universe this year?
While there is no definite announcement about this, the reality on the ground is hinting the possibilities. Crimea was annexed by Russia in a blitzkrieg style precision. The rest of the eastern Ukraine is revolting and thousands of Russian troops are in the border. With such political tensions going on, it would certainly be difficult to live in Ukraine with normalcy and definitely organizing a pageant would be tough. So is it indeed goodbye for Ukraine?