Mary Dejevsky, The Independent | May 27, 2008
Though the Eurovision Song Contest should not be reduced to politics, the extent to which political considerations surpass artistic ones is undeniable. ++ Russia's victory resulted from the overwhelming support of former Soviet satellite states eager to please their intimidating big neighbor. ++ Yet, victory ultimately offers an outlet for unthreatening national aspirations and a chance to exert influence through image and culture. ++ If Russia harnesses its resurgent patriotism, it could make good use of this to display its ability to exercise soft power.