22:30 GMT21 January 2021
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    Russian 2017 Eurovision Song Contest contender Yulia Samoilova has been denied entry to Ukraine.

    "The Ukrainian Security Service has denied Russian citizen Yulia Samoilova entry to Ukraine for three years. The decision was made based on data about her violation of Ukrainian law," SBU's spokeswoman Olena Hitlyanska announced.

    On March 12, Russia announced that Samoilova, the winner of the internal competition, will represent Russia at the 2017 Eurovision contest in Kiev. Samoilova, who has been wheelchair-bound since childhood, will sing the song "Flame Is Burning."

    The Russian singer visited Crimea in 2015 with a concert without obtaining a permit from the Ukrainian authorities. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had launched an investigation into the case despite the fact that Crimea has been a Russian region since 2014.

    A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that Moscow considers Ukraine's decision to be "inhumane and cynical."

    The 2017 Eurovision contest will be held in Kiev from May 9 until May 13.

    Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014 following the national referendum, with almost 97 percent of the residents having voted for the reunification. Ukraine still considers Crimea as an occupied territory.


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    Eurovision, Yulia Samoilova, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
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