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Ukraine bans Russia's entry to Eurovision song contest

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/22/2017

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine's security service has banned Russia's contestant from this year's Eurovision song contest.

Russia this month chose 27-year-old singer Yulia Samoylova to represent the country in the May 11-13 contest in Kiev.

But Samoylova has toured in Russia-annexed Crimea, without entering it by going through the de-facto border with the Ukrainian mainland. Under Ukrainian law, that allows authorities to block her entry into Ukraine.

Ukrainian Security Service spokeswoman Olena Gitlanska said Wednesday on her Facebook page that the service has banned Samoylova from the country for three years "on the basis of information received about her violation of Ukrainian law."

Samoylova, who has been confined to a wheelchair since childhood, sang at the opening of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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