Russia has chosen 27-year-old singer-songwriter Yulia Samoilova to represent the country at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
Samoilova will perform her song Flame Is Burning at the second Eurovision semifinal in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 11. Professional juries and Eurovision viewers will vote for acts to go through to the Grand Final on May 13.
The singer, who appeared as a finalist on Russian television talent show Factor A in 2013, has already performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
"Yulia is an original singer, a charming girl and an experienced contestant," Yuri Aksyuta, head of Russia's Eurovision delegation told the Interfax news agency.
“A musical career requires tremendous emotional and physical strength, and we admire Yulia and her success. On May 11, millions of viewers around the world will share that feeling with us.”
Kiev won the right to host the 2017 finals after Ukrainian singer Jamala took first prize at the competition in Stockholm in 2016. Russia came in third place, behind Australia.
Jamala's victory and her song "1944" on Stalin's deportation of the Crimean Tatars was described as “political” in Russia, leading to calls for a boycott of the 2017 Eurovision.