Russian Federation backs out of Eurovision after Ukraine banned its singer

Satellite dish at the EBU's headquarters in Geneva Switzerland

Satellite dish at the EBU's headquarters in Geneva Switzerland

The organisers of the contest, the European Broadcast Union (EBU), said in a statement they had done everything in their power so that all eligible countries could take part. "Our top priority remains to produce a spectacular Eurovision Song Contest with our member UA:PBC [the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine] in May".

The battle though not unfamiliar, is unprecedented. Samoylova was due to perform ' Flame Is Burning', which - like all Eurovision songs - is some nonsense song vaguely related to peace and/or love, with just the right sound frequencies to draw us all in with the force of a fully-fledged tractor beam.

It is an attempt by Ukraine to politicize the competition.

Now, Russia has finally pulled the pin.

Ukraine is hosting Eurovision because its singer, Jamala, won in Sweden past year, with her song 1944, about the suffering endured by her ancestors during deportations under the regime of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. As is tradition, the victor hosts the next year's final.

In previous years, the conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and then Russian Federation and Georgia, have all filtered into the contest. Tongue-in-cheek for some, but widely seen as a barely-veiled critique of Russian President Putin in the aftermath of 2008's Georgia-Russia conflict.

Last of 'cocaine cowboys' nabbed after 26 years on the run
Magluta was eventually sentenced to 205 years in prison, which was reduced to 195 years in 2006, according to the Miami Herald . His brother and Magluta went were acquitted of all charges at their trial in 1996, leading to the resignation of then-Miami U.S.

Similarly, Armenia chose not to go to the contest when it was held in Azerbaijan because of the ongoing territorial dispute, and a year ago the Armenian contestant was reprimanded after she waved the flag for the disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Ukrainian authorities have imposed a travel ban on Russia's Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoylova.

"Channel One considers the refusal by Ukraine absolutely groundless", a news anchor announced on April 13.

But according to Royston "the real story this year is how Russian Federation have manipulated that situation to politicise the contest". "The patrolling of the main venues of the Eurovision, as well as the city centre and the transport facilities, will be enhanced", Bogdan Lizogub, the head of the security department of the Eurovision-2017 organizing committee, told reporters. This will be the first time it has not taken part in the competition.

The rules of the Eurovision Song Contest ban political gestures, and the organizers said they were "deeply disappointed" by the ban. The contest organisers also condemned the Ukrainian decision but said the event will go ahead.

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