In recent weeks she’s been at the centre of an international media storm after Ukraine banned her from participating in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 over a past trip to Crimea.
And on Wednesday Russian news media Bloknot revealed that Julia Samoylova will return to Crimea to perform in the stunning seaside city of Sevastopol to mark Victory Day on May 9.
Victory Day commemorates the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany, which helped end the Second World War. This year it coincides with the first semi-final of Eurovision 2017.
Bloknot reports that “the city is now preparing for the event and has coordinated details with the singer,” though the concert has yet to be officially announced.
Sergei Aksyonov, who Russia acknowledges as the prime minister of the Republic of Crimea, has made it clear he hopes Julia comes to the region more often.
“Ukraine should be deprived of the right to hold Eurovision,” he’s quoted as saying. “It would be right and just. And Julia, you’re invited to come more often to the Russian Crimea.”
Even if her dream of representing Russia at Eurovision has come to an end (at least for this year), Julia remained poised and upbeat as she gave her take on Ukraine’s travel ban and Channel One’s withdrawal.
“The support is unreal,” she told Channel One. “It’s not just Russia either — it’s from all over the world. In Japan, they draw me like an anime hero!”
That international support wasn’t enough to get her into Eurovision 2017, however. But, as a performer used to being told “no” throughout her career, Julia isn’t as subdued as you might think.
“It’s upsetting because it’s my dream, but I believe in hope. I believe I will go to Eurovision again. I want my example to inspire people, to inspire them to not surrender in any situation, live a full life and follow their dreams.”
Her message is simple: “Do not give up!”
Until the decision was announced, Julia was dedicated to the task of representing her country on the Eurovision stage and flying the flag for Moscow.
“I would have flown to Kyiv, even under threat of arrest.”