Russian Figure Skater Sparks Outrage With Holocaust-Themed Routine

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The wife of Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov faces criticism from around the world after performing a Holocaust-themed ice skating routine on the Russian reality show “Ice Age.”

Former Olympic figure skating champion Tatiana Navka and her partner Andrey Burkovskiy donned Holocaust-era prisoner uniforms that were each fitted with a yellow Star of David for the performance.  The pair skated to Israeli singer Achinoam “Noa” Nini’s song “Beautiful That Way,” which was featured in the 1997 Oscar-winning Italian film, “Life is Beautiful.”

The film tells the story of a father who employs his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. Navka posted a collage to Instagram highlighting moments from the performance after the show aired.  She explained that the routine was “based on one of my favorite movies” and noted the importance of Holocaust education for children.

The routine ended on a gruesome note as Navka stands alone grieving, while Burkovskiy is heard being shot behind her.

The Russian celebrity ice-skating show works similarly to the United States program “Dancing with the Stars” or the UK’s “Dancing on Ice.” The routine seemed to be well-received by audience members, but international backlash followed shortly after the routine aired.

Director of International Affairs at Australia’s Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, Jeremy Jones, told CNN that he found the act to have been “unbelievably tasteless.”

“The lack of thought that would have to go into making that decision is almost mindblowing,” said Jones. “Long after they’re forgotten as ice skaters they’ll be remember as people who sunk to such depths to get some celebrity.”

The segment also drew considerable amounts of criticism online as Twitter exploded with negative reactions to the performance.

Jones told CNN that he hoped the backlash to the routine would serve as a reminder to the world of the Holocaust’s horrors.

Bryan White
Bryan is an editorial intern at Law Street Media from Stratford, NJ. He is a sophomore at American University, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. When he is not reading up on the news, you can find him curled up with an iced chai and a good book. Contact Bryan at BWhite@LawStreetMedia.com.



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