Strictly pros are 'divided on whether the show's Russian stars should appear in the next series' after Putin's invasion of Ukraine

Strictly Come Dancing professionals are thought to be undecided on whether their Russian born co-stars should take part in the next series

Strictly
(Image credit: Getty)

The Strictly professionals are reportedly divided on whether the show's Russian stars should continue to appear following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 had vaccine controversy, now its next season already has a brand new one—associated with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russian natives Katya Jones, 32, and Luba Mushtuk, 32, were both born in the country's city of Saint Petersburg and have so far remained silent on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

According to The Sun (opens in new tab), the show's dancers are divided on whether the pair should stay for the next series and are calling on producers to make a decision.

They report that some of the dancers on the show feel that keeping Katya and Luba on the show would be in “bad taste”, considering that two of the other pros—Nikita Kuzmin and Nadiya Bychkova —are Ukrainian.

A source revealed to the publication, "Tensions are high and there’s a lot of strong feeling about this.

“Some of the dancers would want producers to make a decision and say ‘You can’t come back for the next series’.

Strictly pros divided on if Russian stars should return

(Image credit: Getty)

“Some of the professionals feel it’s in bad taste to have them on the show."

The TV insider added that Strictly's Katya and Luba's failure to speak out about the invasion is causing concern. “It’s been discussed among a group of them and they are concerned about it affecting the program and causing a backlash.

“Given they’re on the biggest show on television they are already open to criticism and they worry that this would only invite controversy.

“Other parts of the industry are shunning Russians and it’s been suggested that Strictly does the same. There’s a feeling that it would not be appropriate for them to return.”

However, the dancers are said to be split on this as some also feel that it is not Katya or Luba’s fault where they were born.

The insider added, “They’ve done nothing wrong and have been gutted by the scenes in Ukraine at the hands of their homeland. Some think they should not be punished for something entirely out of their control.”

While she hasn't directly addressed the invasion, Katya recently wrote on her Instagram story, "Praying for peace and love in the world."

Robyn is a celebrity and entertainment journalist and editor with over eight years experience in the industry. As well as contributing regular to woman&home, she also often writes for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and The Sun.