Miss Russia Says Ukraine 'Ran' From Her At The Miss Universe Pageant & They're Trading Shots

There are some hard feelings about the costumes.

Miss Russia Anna Linnikova. Right: Miss Ukraine Viktoria Apanasenko.
Senior Editor

Miss Russia Anna Linnikova. Right: Miss Ukraine Viktoria Apanasenko.

The Miss Universe 2023 pageant wrapped up in mid-January but Miss Russia is apparently still feeling salty about how things went down, especially after the Ukrainian and Swiss contestants allegedly "shunned" her on stage.

Model Anna Linnikova went off on a few of her competitors in an interview with Evening Moscow on Tuesday, roughly two weeks after she lost the annual beauty pageant to Miss USA.

Linnikova claimed that the judges were "biased" against her at the pageant, that Miss Ukraine wouldn't talk to her and that Ukrainians have been bullying her online.

"I faced a continuous stream of insults and threats from Ukrainian social media users," she told the paper, as translated by Google. "Many others avoided me and shunned me (...) And the girls from Ukraine and Switzerland generally ran away from me like fire!"

She didn't mention the fact that her country is currently invading Ukraine, or that Russians have killed thousands of civilians on Ukrainian soil. The paper also left that fact out of its Q&A, as the Kremlin keeps a tight grip on media in the country and has downplayed the invasion of Ukraine.

Instead, Miss Russia complained that Miss Ukraine Viktoria Apanasenko wasn't nice enough to her at the pageant.

"It is a pity that she did not want to communicate with me only because of my nationality," Linnikova said. "I tried to make contact, but all efforts were in vain."

The model also went on to suggest that pageant was "rigged" in favour of Ukraine and the U.S. The American model did win the pageant, while Miss Ukraine captured plenty of public attention with her outfit in the costume contest.

Miss Ukraine stepped out looking like a warrior angel for the costume contest, with a sword in her hand and mechanical wings on her back that spread out on stage.

Miss Ukraine previously described Miss Russia's costume as "absurd" during an interview with the Daily Beast.

"When I saw the Russian participant wearing a costume called the 'Crown of the Russian Empire,' I thought, 'How absurd,'" Apanasenko said.

She added that she hoped "until the very last moment" that Linnikova would come up to her and say sorry about the war.

"She only came up to me to get a selfie for what I think were propaganda purposes," she said. "Miss Russia did not say a word about the war. People told me it would be dangerous for her."

Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel ultimately won the pageant, although she still faces allegations that the Miss USA pageant was rigged.

Russia's Linnikova also went off on the costume contest in her interview, although it wasn't clear if she was talking about Ukraine or the United States.

The Miss Universe pageant has been running since 1952, although many have asked in recent decades whether such beauty pageants are even relevant anymore.

Thai billionaire Anne Jakapong bought Miss Universe last year and has said she hopes to turn it into more of a reality competition in the future.

Based on the tension between Miss Russia and Miss Ukraine, you could argue that sometimes things can get a little too real.

Josh Elliott
Senior Editor
Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Food & Drink and Lifestyle teams with a focus on entertainment interviews. He is based in Toronto, Ontario.