Miss Russia says competitors at the Miss Universe contest 'avoided' her and suggests pageant was rigged
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Miss Russia has claimed competitors at this year’s Miss Universe contest ‘avoided’ her, suggesting the pageant was rigged.
Now Linnikova has claimed she ‘faced a continuous stream of insults and threats from Ukrainian social media users’, telling the Evening Moscow that she was also met with ‘negative comments from longtime acquaintances from Ukraine’.
While Linnikova did not mention the ongoing war between her country and Ukraine, but comments made in the interview seemed to suggest the conflict had played a part.
She continued: "And many others avoided me and shunned me simply by learning about my origins.
"The girls from Ukraine and Switzerland simply ran from me like fire!"
Linnikova also told the outlet she thinks ‘everything about the top-16 stage’ has an ‘exclusively political context’.
She claimed that her being unable to get through to the final had nothing to do with the ‘quality of [her] performance’, arguing that it was ‘very symbolic’ that both Miss America and Miss Ukraine won two nominations in the contest – with the latter being awarded the ‘Spirit of Carnival’ accolade.
Linnikova even alleged that Apanasenko didn’t want to speak to her as she was Russian, saying it was a ‘pity’.
She said: "I tried to make contact, but all efforts were in vain. Everyone saw Viktoria's demonstrative behaviour — this is her choice, and I do not hold a grudge.”
Apanasenko, meanwhile, previously said organisers may have underestimated what it would be like for her to go up against Miss Russia in the competition.
She told the Daily Beast: "I am more than grateful to Miss Universe for their support, but I am not sure the organizers understood what it felt like for me to be standing and smiling on the same stage with Miss Russia who was wearing a red dress, the color of blood."
Viral audience footage from the pageant showed an interaction between Linnikova and Apanasenko at the event, with many suggesting Linnikova was attempting to enter the line-up right next to her Ukrainian rival.
Just moments later, Apanasenko appeared to ask Miss Colombia contestant Maria Fernanda Aristizábal to switch places.
Twitter user Ukrainian Babushka shared the clip online, writing: "Miss Russia tries to intimidate Miss Ukraine by wanting to stand besides her.
"Miss Ukraine was disgusted and she requested Miss Colombia to switch places."
Dozens of people have shared their thoughts on the clip, with one accusing Miss Russia of 'pure harassment on an international platform'.
Another said: "I think she wants to invade Miss Ukraine for her superior beauty, but Seychelles and Colombia wont let her."
A third asked: "How is she even allowed to compete? This world is really messed up."
LADbible has reached out to the Miss Universe contest for comment.