Yulia Samoilova has been banned from entering Ukraine for this years Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Security Service has banned Russia’s entrant Yulia Samoilova from entering Ukraine, meaning she will be unable to compete in this years Eurovision Song Contest. Yulia has been banned following an investigation into the singer’s performance in Crimea following the Russian annexation of the formerly Ukrainian territory.
Yulia was internally selected by the Russian Broadcaster, Channel One to perform the song “Flame Is Burning” in Kyiv. Yulia’s ban from travelling to Ukraine raises questions as to whether Russia will attend this years contest.
The European Broadcasting Union has issued a statement reading:
It has been confirmed to the EBU that the Ukrainian authorities have issued a travel ban on the Russian artist chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest, Julia Samoylova, as she has been judged to have contravened Ukrainian law by entering Crimea in order to perform.
We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values.
We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May.
The Ukrainian national broadcaster has issued a statement adding:
National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine as a broadcaster organiser of Eurovision Song Contest 2017, will continue to implement the decisions of the Government of Ukraine, SBU including decisions to prohibit entry of the citizen of the Russian Federation Julia Samoilova to Ukraine.
The 27-year-old Yulia Samoilova is from Ukhta in the Komi Republic. She took part in the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014 and was the runner-up in the 2013 Russian version of the X Factor. Whilst taking part in the X Factor she was coached by Alla Pugacheva who represented the country at the contest in 1997.
According to reports from the Russian media yesterday, the Armenian singer Artsvik is also being investigated for travelling to Crimea while it has been under Russian control. The Armenian national broadcaster yesterday stated that they were unaware of any investigation into their singer. This has not been officially confirmed.
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Russia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and has gone on to be one of the most successful countries in the contest. Since the mid-00s Russia has had a string of strong results including their first and only victory to date in 2008. Dima Bilan won the contest in Belgrade, Serbia with the song “Believe” taking the contest to Moscow the following year. In the past two years Russia has finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the final.