Girl on fire! Julia Samoylova performs at Victory Day commemoration in annexed Crimea


She took part in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and more recently found herself in the middle of a geopolitical row between Ukraine and Russia over her participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. And that row ended with Julia Samoylova being handed a three-year ban on entering Ukraine and Russia withdrawing from Eurovision 2017. 

Soon afterwards Russian media reported Samolyova would travel to Crimea, to perform in Sevastapol to mark Victory Day on May 9th.

And on Tuesday the performance finally took place. Samoylova treated Sevastopol to a multiple song set, while 18 acts performed at the first semi-final in Kyiv, a move which many think was deliberately timed.

Speaking to journalists, she called the opportunity to perform in Crimea a “great honour” and said it was “exciting” to perform on Victory Day.

Despite Channel One promising she will represent Russia in 2018, Samoylova chose to avoid mentioning Eurovision directly.

She told the thousands in the crowd: “”It is a great honor for me to perform here on May 9, and I will try and share this joy with you.”


Unfortunately for Moscow, it appears the Eurodrama isn’t over yet.

Russian media has reported Russia may be disqualified from Eurovision 2018, as they have refused to broadcast Eurovision 2017. There is form here: Russia attempted to return in 1999 but was unable to as Channel One failed to broadcast the contest in 1998.

It’s also been suggested that failure to appear at Head of Delegation meetings earlier this year will result in Russia being sanctioned by the EBU.

Whatever does happen to Russia, decisions will have to wait until after Eurovision 2017 concludes. Despite the Eurodrama all eyes are instead on Ukraine’s hosting.


Photo: REUTERS/Pavel Rebrov