Miss Russia has claimed that her Miss Universe competitors ‘avoided’ her and suggested that the contest was rigged.
Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant that is one of the most-watched pageants in the world.
It has an estimated audience of more than 500 million viewers in over 190 territories.
But one of this year’s contestants doesn’t seem too happy with how she was treated.
Watch Miss Russia take the stage at Miss Universe 2023 below…
Miss Russia Anna Linnikova has now spoken about how she felt at the event, claiming she was sent death threats on social media and that other contestants treated her differently.
Speaking to Evening Moscow, she says: “It was very difficult. From the very beginning, I faced a continuous stream of insults and threats from Ukrainian social media users.
“Especially unpleasant were the negative comments from longtime acquaintances from Ukraine.
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“Many others avoided me and shunned me simply after learning about my origins. And the girls from Ukraine and Switzerland generally ran from me like fire.”
Linnikova does admit though that Miss Venezuela left a lasting impression on her because of her ‘warmth’.
She continues: “It is difficult to single out one person, but let it be a girl from Venezuela – she was especially kind and sensitive to others.
“Perhaps it was this energy and charisma that helped her take second place.”
While not specifically mentioning the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Linnikova believes that it influenced the result of the competition.
Miss America and Miss Ukraine both won two nominations – while Miss Russia received none.
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During the competition, an awkward ‘moment’ between Linnikova and Miss Ukraine aka Viktoria Apanasenko also went viral.
At the event – which took place in New Orleans, US – Apanasenko appeared to ask to switch places with Miss Columbia, as Linnikova stood near her in a group photo.
When asked about it Linnikova describes it as a ‘pity’.
Miss Russia tries to intimidate Miss Ukraine by wanting to stand besides her ⁉️
— Ukrainian Babushka (@vic_top555) January 13, 2023
She explains: “It is a pity that she did not want to communicate with me only because of my nationality. I tried to make contact, but all efforts were in vain.
“Everyone saw Victoria’s demonstrative behaviour – this is her choice, I do not hold a grudge.
“By the way, the ignorance on the part of the contestant from Switzerland is due to the Ukrainian roots of her mother.”
Meanwhile, Miss Ukraine has spoken to The Daily Beast where she has slammed the organisers of the Miss Universe competition for making her compete against Miss Russia.
She tells the outlet that she spent the morning of the finale watching tragic footage of Ukrainians dying in the aftermath of the attack.
By evening time, she was doing her final pageant walk in a black dress which ‘symbolises the grief of Ukrainian people’.
Aspanasenko continues: “I am more than grateful to Miss Universe for their support, but I am not sure the organisers 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 colour of blood.”
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