Russia have confirmed they will enter the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Ukraine capital Kiev.
A state broadcast confirmed on Sunday evening that wheelchair-bound Julia Samoilova will sing their entry ‘Flame is Burning’ in the international singing competition in May, despite calls from Russian MPs to boycott the event for political reasons. Tensions have been high ever since Russian forces annexed Crimea three years ago.
Suggestions have also been lobbied that the shock victory last year by Jamala, whose song ‘1944’ was inspired by Joseph Stalin’s mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars during World War Two. This led many people in Russia to accuse the Ukrainian victory at the Swedish 2016 contest as being political.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov commented on the events, saying: ‘Undoubtedly, we would like to avoid politicising the Eurovision contest.’ He continued to state ‘We believe it absolutely unacceptable as far as the development of this international contest is concerned.’
The semi-finals for 2017’s Eurovision Song Contest take place on the 10th and 11th May 2017, with the Final on the 13th May. Check out the Russian entry below: