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Julia Samoylova sings during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Games  | © AP
Julia Samoylova sings during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Games | © AP
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Russia Fights Back over Ukraine's Eurovision Song Contest Ban

Picture of Ann Lee
Music Editor
Updated: 23 March 2017
Russia has responded to Ukraine’s decision to ban their contestant from this year’s Eurovision song contest – with their own ban. We have the low-down here.

Ukraine’s secret service SBU announced yesterday that Russia’s Eurovision Song Contest candidate Julia Samoylova was banned from entering the country because she performed in Crimea in 2015.

This year’s contest will be held in Kiev from May 11 to May 13.

Now, Russia One and Channel One, which alternate broadcasting Eurovision in Russia each year, claim no channel in the country will broadcast this year’s contest unless Julia’s ban is revoked.

Crimea is a contested territory annexed by Russia from Ukraine, and entering Crimea via Russia without passing through the de-facto border is illegal.

The Ukrainian Security Service spokeswoman Olena Gitlanska said Samoylova was banned for three years ‘on the basis of information received about her violation of Ukrainian law’.

She was supposed to be taking part in the contest with the track ‘Flame Is Burning’.

Samoylova, 27, who has been confined to a wheelchair since childhood, performed at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Russia in 2014.