Anastasiia Subbota is representing Ukraine in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, which was previously owned by Donald Trump before he became president of the United States.
Trump is currently under a congressional impeachment inquiry over his relationship with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and whether he tried to get Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, to gain an advantage in the upcoming 2020 election.
Subbota is a 26-year-old model from southeastern Ukraine who speaks three languages. She is involved with charities for children and veterans of the recent conflict with Russia. Subbota initially had her visa denied when she was heading to Atlanta, Georgia, where this year’s pageant is being held. Her visa was approved. Her roommate is Miss Armenia.
The 2019 competition airs Sunday night on FOX at 7 p.m. EST.
Here’s what you need to know about Anastasiia Subbota.
1. Anastasiia Subbota Is a 26-Year-Old Professional Model From Zaporozhye in Southeastern Ukraine and Is Involved in Children’s Charities and Promoting Suicide Prevention
Anastasiia Subbota is a 26-year-old professional model, according to her official Miss Universe bio. She studied web design at the Computer Academy in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Her bio says she is “passionate about boxing, dancing, and learning about new cultures.”
Subotta does volunteer work with ATO veterans. ATO refers to “anti-terrorist operation” and is used to describe Ukraine’s recent conflict with Russia that led to the annexation of Crimea.
She also works with several children’s charities, including Smile Train, which helps children born with a cleft palate. “Every three minutes a baby is born with a cleft. Children with clefts face many difficulties like eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Smile Train not only enables free surgery for children with clefts in more than 90 countries, but also supports comprehensive cleft care every step of the way. I am so excited to kick off this holiday season with Smile Train, an organization that is dear to my heart,” Subotta posted on Facebook recently.
Subotta also helps promote suicide awareness “after almost losing two friends to suicide,” her bio says. “In the future, she would like to go into social work in order to promote positive social change and aid those who need it the most.”
She speaks English, Russian and Ukrainian. Her last name, Subbota, translates to “Saturday” in English.
2. Anastasiia Subbota Initially Had Problems Getting Her Visa To Come To the United States for the Miss Universe Pageant
Anastasiia Subbota, Ukraine’s representative in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, initially had problems getting her visa to come to the United States for the competition, according to several media reports.
The visa issue came amid an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and whether he used the powers of his office to pressure Ukraine to launch an investigation into his 2020 political rival Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
In an interview with Ukrainian magazine Today Lifestyle, Subbota said she was shocked when she learned that her visa to travel to the United States for the Miss Universe pageant had not been approved.
“It was shocking,” she said. “I did not expect such a turn of events. I have been to the Embassy of America three times in a week. When I came for the first time, they told me that they did not see my profile, that there was some kind of malfunction in the system. But this is not only with me, but with 15 people. And then I was rewritten on Thursday. On Thursday I came a second time, filed documents and they told me that the refusal. I submitted a letter from Anna Filimonova (head of the organizing committee of the Miss Ukraine Universe contest) and from the competition committee. It was an official letter with seals and a full package of documents.”
“The officer told me that I was already the fourth who comes with such a letter. I told him that this could not be and I am so alone,” he said. “He looked at me and the documents like that, said that today they will not give a visa for sure. He gave me my passport and a piece of paper, which said that I can file an appeal. They have the right not to speak the reason for the refusal. For me it was a shock. When he returned the passport to me, I didn’t even say goodbye to him. I did not sleep, my mood was gone. So much has been prepared: costumes, dresses and gifts to the girls participating.”
She flew to Atlanta, Georgia, on November 27.
3. President Donald Trump, Who Is Under a Congressional Impeachment Inquiry For His Dealings With Ukraine, Owned the Miss Universe Pageant From 1996 to 2015
President Donald Trump is currently under investigation for his dealings with Ukraine and whether he abused the powers of his office to gain an advantage in the 2020 election.
Trump owned the Miss Universe Organization, which includes Miss USA and Miss Teen USA until 2015, when he was forced to sell the franchise after Alicia Machado, who won the Miss Universe title in 1996, said he made derogatory comments about her weight. He criticized Machado, who was 19 when she was crowned, and called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” Machado is from Venezuela.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton brought up Trump’s comments during a 2016 presidential debate, saying “He called this woman ‘Miss Piggy’, then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name– her name is Alicia Machado.”
Trump told Fox News the next day that Machado had “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude, and we had a real problem with her, so Hillary went back into the years and she found this girl — this was many years ago. And found the girl and talked about her like she was Mother Theresa. And it wasn’t quite that way but that’s ok. Hillary has to do what she has to do.”
During the 2016 campaign CNN uncovered several interviews radio shock jock Howard Stern conducted with Donald Trump. In one, he brags about going backstage during the beauty pageants.
“Well, I’ll tell you the funniest is that before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” Trump said. “You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good.”
“You know, the dresses. ‘Is everyone okay?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that. But no, I’ve been very good,” he added.
And in his April 21 phone call with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is part of the impeachment investigation against him, Trump mentioned the Miss Universe pageant.
“When I owned Miss Universe they always had great people. Ukraine was always very well represented,” Trump said during the call.
4. Anastasiia Subbota Worked in Europe and China When She Started Her Modeling Career and Lists Fishing As One of Her Hobbies
In an interview with Ukrainian magazine Today Lifestyle, Anastasiia Subbota recalled her early modeling career working in China and Europe.
She said when she initially arrive in Beijing, she feared she had been sold into “slavery.”
“For two weeks I could not find a job, all my castings were unsuccessful. I ate sweets and fruits. I could not get used to such living conditions. No one there spoke almost English. I learned my address in Chinese to explain to the taxi driver where to go,” she said.
She said she also enjoys fishing, having fished with her father and grandfather at an early age.
“Dad and grandfather always took me to the cottage and we fished there together. It was even such that the first time I caught a crucian, and my father – nothing,” she said. “I really like it and even reassures. I like the moment of waiting in fishing – the process itself as a whole. I often release fish into the water. I even have a special suit.”
5. Anastasiia Subbota Is Rooming With Miss Armenia During the Competition and Described the Design Behind Her Elaborate National Costume
Anastasiia Subbota is staying with Miss Armenia, Dayana Davtyan, during the competition in Atlanta, Georgia. All the contestants are paired with a roommate during their stay.
According to her official Miss Universe bio, Davtyan is “passionate for graphic design and cartoon illustration. She is currently studying at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. Dayana is a member of the board of directors of the “Akunq” charity foundation, an organization that aims to help survivors of the ‘Spitak’ earthquake in 1988. The foundation emphasises on single mothers, poverty stricken citizens, and homeless people. In addition to her social activism, she also works as a model for famous Armenian designers.”
Subbota also posted a message on Facebook describing the design behind her outfit for the National Costume portion of the competition.
“The idea of the suit is to show Ukraine the way it sees the bird from the height of its flight,” she wrote. “The suit also has its own ‘green ideology,’ which calls all Ukrainians to remember that we should daily change ourselves and their habits, protect nature, so that our descendants can see Ukraine as gorgeous.”