Ukraine Bars 2017 Eurovision Contestant from Russia


Ukraine banned Julia Samoilova (Russia’s Eurovision contester) for three years because she had illegally entered Crimea. Samoilova, who is a 27-year-old singer has made it clear that she presented in Crimea in 2015. Ukraine is the host of the Eurovision in Kiev, May.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) which is the founder of the Eurovision confirmed that it was deeply disappointed by this news. In their statement, the decision goes against the notion of inclusivity and the spirit of the contest that is at the center of their values. The announcement goes ahead to explain that they have an obligation to respect the laws of the host country.

The European Broadcasting Union confirmed that it would continue to engage the Ukraine authorities to give the singer a chance to perform in Kiev. Some of the senior Russian politicians have called for a boycott of the event.

It’s evident that the contest for the Eurovision song is getting political. Ukraine and Russia are currently locking horns over the choice of Moscow of the competitor. There already exists the predictable chorus of furry. A deputy foreign minister termed the ruling outrageous as inhumane and cynical.

One of the MP demands that the organizers move the contest to a different country. However, another one believes that Russia will boycott all upcoming Eurovision unless the organizers of this event intervene and resolve this stalemate.

Some people claim that this is what Moscow was looking for by choosing Julia yet they knew very well she had illegally traveled to Crimea. What makes the matter worse is that the singer in question has been using the wheelchair since her childhood and the theme of this year’s Eurovision is celebrating diversity.

Ukraine and Russia have been at loggerheads since Crimea annexation and the subsequent fighting in the eastern parts of Ukraine. Most people accuse Moscow of stocking these events. Ukraine is hosting the event after its artist, Jamala, caused an upset after emerging as the winner in Sweden last year.

The theme of her song, 1944, was the mass deportation of the Crimean Tartars by Joseph Stalin during the second world war. The security officials in Ukraine have also banned more than 140 artists from Russia.  In an earlier statement, Ukraine had said that it would verify the information on Somailova’s Crimea visit before taking a decision.

In response to the ban, the Russia state TV (Channel One) that reports on the Eurovision said that Ukraine would use this opportunity to show the whole world that it is a civilized country. Julia was born in 1989 in Ukhta, Russia. Leonid Gutkin is her producer for the song ‘Flame is burning.’ He is also the producer of Russia’s 2015 and 2013 entries. The medical condition that has left in the wheelchair since childhood is muscular atrophy that causes muscle wastage. She performed during the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics opening ceremony after being a finalist in the X Factor competition of Russia.