Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff clarifies comment on Ukraine crisis after backlash

Strictly Come Dancing's former professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff has explained her comments on President Vladimir Putin during the ongoing Ukraine invasion after receiving a huge backlash.

The ballroom star, 44, had shared a series of tweets that some of her fans and followers had labelled "insensitive" following the crisis.

The Russian celebrity, who quit the BBC dance competition in 2015, retweeted a cartoon of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

In the image, the three leaders stood atop a pile of bloody bodies as Biden pointed and said "Russian man bad."

Responses alleged Kristina had shared a pro-Putin cartoon as the dancer captioned her post: "Don’t even have to say anything – pure genius."

Kristina later shared a headline by Sky News which announced that Russia had been kicked out of the Eurovision Song Contest this year, as she raged: "F….ing breaking news. Are you for real @SkyNews ? WTF! And where are we at with bringing @BorisJohnson accountable for ruining thousands of small business while parting during lockdowns??????


But in response to claims she was behaving "inappropriately", Kristina, who shares daughter Mila, five, with partner Ben Cohen, opted to clarify the situation.

"I made fun of Eurovision tweet by Sky," she began. "I did think there was far more important information on that day that Eurovision. This is in any form says I was supporting what’s happening at the moment between Russia & Ukraine.

"It’s absolutely devastating for someone like me whose grandad [is] from Ukraine and I gave Ukrainian name to my daughter – Milena."

The star went on to say her own best friend is also from Ukraine and she "grew up with the knowledge" that both countries were "one nation".

"I’m not into politics and hate politicians because THEY ALL LIE," she continued. "Seeing the news is breaking my heart as I have Russian friends who live in UKRAINE and vice versa.

"The awful thing is that there is casualties on both sides and on both sides mums & dads will cry for their lost relatives."

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Kristina finished her impassioned statement by telling her followers that the invasion "never should have happened" and she believes that both countries' leaders should have found a way to reach a peaceful solution long ago.

The dancer claimed the reason it wasn't was because "war is a profitable business and someone unfortunately making profit on this".

"I’m not supporting Putin, war, invasion, lost lives and politics. I hate it as much as a human being possibly can.

"If I offended anyone it wasn’t my intention and I’m deeply sorry," Kristina added.

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