Russian 'lesbian' duo t.A.T.u to perform at Sochi Olympics?

The band look set to sing 'Never Gonna Get Us' despite anti-gay laws

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The Independent Culture

Russian pop duo t.A.T.u look set to perform at the Sochi Olympics’ opening ceremony tonight, despite kissing on-stage in the early 2000s.

Yulia Volkova and Lena Katina will reportedly reform their controversial act to sing their worldwide hit "Never Gonna Get Us" as part of a warm-up show that will not be broadcast internationally, then again as the Russian quad enters the Fisht Olympic Stadium.

As teenagers, t.A.T.u came third for Russia in the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest, but became famous after their lesbian antics at the MTV Movie Awards that year. After performing "Not Gonna Get Us" and "All The Things She Said" the girls stripped down to nothing but white underwear, thin tops and school ties before kissing each other.

Both band members are heterosexual, but today their same-sex kiss would break anti-gay propaganda laws passed in Russia in 2013, making them a suprising choice by organisers.

In Russian, the name t.A.T.u even implies lesbian sex, while the lyrics to "All The Things She Said" ("I'm losing my mind, I need her") suggest bisexuality.

It seems all is not well in the performers' camp, however, as Katina tweeted a now-deleted post earlier, which read: "They have invited us to perform at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, but they’re treating the artists like shit. The organization is horrible."

There has been no official confirmation that t.A.T.u will be performing, with Katina later tweeting: "All statements will be made at the right moment, as it turned out this was not yet the right moment."

Last week, singer Ellie Goulding became the latest celebrity to boycott the opening ceremony in protest against Russian legislation making it illegal to teach under-18s about homosexuality.

"I immediately said no" she said. "I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there."

On Wednesday night, two members of Pussy Riot took to a New York stage during an Amnesty International concert to demand a "Russia that is free and a Russia without Putin".

The feminist punks were jailed for hooliganism and religious hatred after they staged a protest performance in a Moscow cathedral.

Madonna joined the pair on stage, declaring herself a "freedom fighter" in the face of homophobic discrimination.

Artists are divided over whether to support a full boycott of Russia. Sir Elton John defied calls to cancel his recent Moscow concert, instead using his visit to speak out against the laws, which he said legitimised homophobia and provided legal cover to extremists.

Sir Elton, described by Vladimir Putin recently as an “extraordinary person . . . regardless of his orientation”, rejected the President’s attempted olive branch.