Banned Russian Eurovision act to perform in Crimea instead

Banned Russian Eurovision act to perform in Crimea instead
Yulia Samoylova performing The Flame Is Burning. Image: Eurovision Song Contest/Youtube.

25 April 2017

The Russian singer who was barred from travelling to Kiev for the Eurovision song contest because she visited Russia-annexed Crimea is going to perform in Crimea on the first day of the Eurovision semi-finals.

The information about Russia’s Eurovision entry Yulia Samoylova was confirmed by local officials to Russian news site Bloknot.ru. The performance, which has not yet been officially announced, will take place on 9 May. Russian media also notes that the performance in Crimea will take place on Victory Day, a patriotic holiday that has become ideological in the recent years.

Under Ukrainian law, it is illegal to enter internationally recognised Ukrainian territory through a border point that isn’t controlled by Ukrainian authorities, with those who do so at risk or arrest or a travel ban.

After Samoylova was banned Russia formally withdrew from this year’s competition, refusing to compete via satellite or replace Samoylova with another artist, and the country’s biggest TV channel Channel One announced that it would not broadcast Eurovision. As the events unfolded further, Robbie Williams offered to represent Russia in the contest, and Burger King tried to bribe Ukraine to let Samoylova enter the country.