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Ukraine Says It's Drawn Up the Paperwork to Ban Russia's Eurovision Contestant

Yulia Samoylova Official Group / Vkontakte

Ukraine’s National Security Service has already written up the paperwork necessary to ban Yulia Samoylova, Russia’s representative for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, from setting foot in Kiev, where the competition takes place this May.

“At this very moment, no official decision has been made, but I’ll reveal this secret: the necessary document has already been prepared,” Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of Ukraine’s National Security Service, told reporters on Monday, highlighting that Samoylova violated Ukrainian law when she illegally visited Crimea in 2015.

In his remarks to journalists, Hrytsak said “the law should be the same for everybody,” and stressed that Samoylova not only visited Crimea, but “left traces on social media, where she shared her thoughts about Ukraine, its officials, and the course they took on European integration.”

“My position is clear,” Hrytsak concluded: “I believe she should not come to Ukraine.”

Earlier this month, the Russian state television network Channel One announced Yulia Samoylova as Russia’s representative in this year’s Eurovision competition.

Samoylova was born healthy, but incurred a disability as a young child following a botched vaccination. She is now confined to a wheelchair, which is how she performs as a professional musician. Samoylova hopes to perform the song “Flame Is Burning” in Kiev this May.

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