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Wheelchair user chosen as Russian entry at Eurovision

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/13/2017

MOSCOW (AP) — A woman who uses a wheelchair has been selected to represent Russia at the upcoming Eurovision song contest, seemingly putting an end to speculation that Russia might boycott the politically charged competition held in Kiev.

Several Russian lawmakers and entertainment stars have called to boycott the competition to be held in the Ukrainian capital in May as once friendly relations between the two-countries turned into open animosity following Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for separatist rebels.

Russian broadcaster Channel One announced on Sunday that 27-year old Yulia Samoylova would represent Russia at the contest with the song "Flame is Burning". Samoylova, who has used a wheelchair since childhood, was a finalist in Russia's X Factor in 2013 and sang at the opening of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.

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