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Russia's Eurovision Act to Perform in Crimea Instead of Competition Semi-Final

Yulia Samoylova Maria Antipina / TASS

Russia’s 2017 Eurovision act, Yulia Samoylova, will perform at a concert in Crimea instead of at the competition in Kiev.

Samoylova will take to the stage in Sevastopol on May 9, the day of the first Eurovision semi-final,  local officials confirmed.

Russia formally withdrew from this year’s Eurovision after Ukrainian officials banned Samoylova from entering the country. Russia’s Channel One also announced that it would not broadcast the competition.

Samoylova was barred from traveling to Kiev after it emerged she had toured the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula in 2015. Under Ukrainian law, anyone who enters Crimea from Russia faces a three-year ban from the country.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organization behind Eurovision, condemned Kiev’s decision but said that Russia had rejected its offer to compete via satellite or to send another artist in Samoylova's place.

Eurovision 2017 is due to take place between May 9 and 13.

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