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Eurovision 2009 song contest to open in Moscow on Sunday

MOSCOW, May 10 (RIA Novosti) - The Eurovision 2009 song contest will officially open in Moscow on Sunday, the contest's organizers said.

Moscow won the right to host the event for the first time after Russian pop singer Dima Bilan took first place in last year's Eurovision, held in Belgrade, with his song Believe.

The official opening ceremony will start at 10:00 p.m. Moscow time (6:00 p.m. GMT) and will be broadcast by Russia's TV Channel One.

Representatives of 41 European countries plus Israel will take part in the competition, to be held at the Olimpiisky Sports Complex, built for the 1980 Olympic Games, on May 10-16.

This year Russia will be represented by Ukrainian singer Anastasia Prikhodko.

Over 8,500 police and security officers will be on duty at the Eurovision 2009 Song Contest.

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