Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member station
Former members
National selection events
National final
  • Evrovidenie
  • 1994 (as part of Programma A)
  • 1996 (as part of Programma A)
  • 2005
  • 2008–2010
  • 2012
  • 2021
Internal selection
  • 1995
  • 1997
  • 2000–2004
  • 2006–2007
  • 2011
  • 2013–2016
  • 2017 (withdrew)
  • 2018–2020
Participation summary
Appearances23 (22 finals)
First appearance1994
Last appearance2021
Highest placement1st: 2008
External links
Channel One page
Russia-1 page
Russia's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Russia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 23 times since their debut in 1994. Russia won the 2008 contest with Dima Bilan performing the song "Believe". One of the most successful countries in the contest in the 21st century with a total of ten top five placements, Russia finished second with Alsou in 2000, Dima Bilan in 2006, Buranovskiye Babushki in 2012 and Polina Gagarina in 2015; third with t.A.T.u. in 2003, Serebro in 2007, Sergey Lazarev in 2016 and 2019, and fifth with Dina Garipova in 2013. In 2018, they failed to qualify for the final for the first time in their history. The Russian entry has been chosen through both internal selections and a televised national final titled Evrovidenie, with their most recent entry (2021) being chosen by the latter.

Following their exclusion from the 2022 contest due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, on 26 February 2022, the Russian broadcasters VGTRK and Channel One announced that they would suspend their membership in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The suspension was made effective by the EBU on 26 May, preventing Russia from participating in further Eurovision events unless their membership is resumed.[1][2]

Contest history[edit]

Russia debuted in the 1994 contest after becoming a member of the EBU. Russia came second at four contests; in 2000 with the song "Solo" performed by Alsou, in 2006 with Dima Bilan's song "Never Let You Go", in 2012 with the song "Party for Everybody" performed by Buranovskiye Babushki, and in 2015 with Polina Gagarina's song "A Million Voices". They also achieved four third-place finishes; in 2003 with t.A.T.u's song "Ne ver', ne boysia", Serebro in 2007 with their entry "Song #1", and in 2016 as well as 2019 with Sergey Lazarev's entries "You Are the Only One" and "Scream" respectively.

Russia has failed to qualify for the final on two occasions. In 1996, Russia's entry was Andrey Kosinsky with the song "Ya eto ya", but he scored an insufficient number of points in a special qualifying round, while in 2018 Yulia Samoylova, who represented the country with the song "I Won't Break", failed to qualify from the televised second semi-final.

In 1998, because Russia did not participate in the contest (due to lower average scores in participating in previous competitions), Russia refused to broadcast the competition and the European Broadcasting Union in return forbade the country to participate the following year. According to unconfirmed information, Russia intended to send Tatyana Ovsienko with the song "Solntse moyo" (My Sun), which turned out to be a false rumour as the song was officially released in mid-1997 on Tatyana's album "Za Rozovym morem". Tatyana herself, during an interview, said that she did not go to Eurovision because she was "Either afraid or not very sure, besides, i knew that there were stronger guys and girls, and I thought that i would still have time [to go to Eurovision]."[3]

Russia won their first and so far only contest in 2008, when Dima Bilan, participating for the second time in the contest, won with the song "Believe", bringing the contest to Russia for 2009.

Russia was the most successful country in Eurovision between 2000 and 2009, with one win, two-second places, and two third places. However, in 2010 they finished 11th, and in 2011 they were 16th, which was the worst placing for Russia since 1995. Interest in the competition fell, but in 2012, Buranovskiye Babushki finished in second place, increasing Russia's interest in the show. Russia holds the record for the most top five finishes in the 21st century, with ten, with Sergey Lazarev holding the record of the highest score of any Russian contestant, who finished third in 2016 with 491 points.

In February 2019, Sergey Lazarev was once again confirmed as the Russian representative for the 2019 contest, becoming the second returning artist in Russia's Eurovision history after Dima Bilan, who participated in 2006 and 2008 respectively. This time he represented his country with the song "Scream", with which he brought Russia back to the final for the first time since 2016 and achieved the country's 10th top 5 result, by finishing third once again.

For the 2021 contest, Russia opted to return to a national selection, after Little Big declined to return following their intended participation in the later-cancelled 2020 contest with "Uno". "Russian Woman" performed by Manizha emerged as the winner of the selection, which then went on to finish in 9th place in the final.

Russia had originally planned to participate in the 2022 contest, but was excluded from participating by the EBU due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[4][5] In response, the Russian broadcasters VGTRK and Channel One announced their intention to suspend their membership in the EBU.[1] The suspension was made effective by the EBU on 26 May, preventing Russia from participating in further Eurovision events unless their membership is resumed.[2]


The contest has been broadcast irregularly on two different public state channels in Russia, both EBU members: in 1994 and 1996 it was broadcast on Russia-1 of VGTRK, while in 1995, 1997 and from 1999 to 2007 the contest was broadcast on Channel One. Since 2008, there is an alternation on broadcast and selection duties, with Russia-1 on even years, and Channel One on odd years. This alternation was disrupted when Russia withdrew from the 2017 contest, after which Channel One assumed broadcast and selection duties in 2018, 2020 and 2021, and Russia-1 in 2019.

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
1 Winner
2 Second place
3 Third place
X Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
1994 Youddiph "Vechny strannik" (Вечный странник) Russian 9 70 No semi-finals
1995 Philipp Kirkorov "Kolybelnaya dlya vulkana" (Колыбельная для вулкана) Russian 17 17
1996 Andrey Kosinsky "Ya eto ya" (Я это я) Russian Failed to qualify[a] X 27 14
1997 Alla Pugacheva "Primadonna" (Примадонна) Russian 15 33 No semi-finals
2000 Alsou "Solo" English 2 155
2001 Mumiy Troll "Lady Alpine Blue" English 12 37
2002 Prime Minister "Northern Girl" English 10 55
2003 t.A.T.u. "Ne ver', ne boysia" (Не верь, не бойся) Russian 3 164
2004 Julia Savicheva "Believe Me" English 11 67 Top 11 previous year[b]
2005 Natalia Podolskaya "Nobody Hurt No One" English 15 57 Top 12 previous year[b]
2006 Dima Bilan "Never Let You Go" English 2 248 3 217
2007 Serebro "Song #1" English 3 207 Top 10 previous year[b]
2008 Dima Bilan "Believe" English 1 272 3 135
2009 Anastasia Prikhodko "Mamo" (Мамо) Russian, Ukrainian 11 91 Host country[c]
2010 Peter Nalitch and Friends "Lost and Forgotten" English 11 90 7 74
2011 Alexey Vorobyov "Get You" English, Russian 16 77 9 64
2012 Buranovskiye Babushki "Party for Everybody" Udmurt, English 2 259 1 152
2013 Dina Garipova "What If" English 5 174 2 156
2014 Tolmachevy Sisters "Shine" English 7 89 6 63
2015 Polina Gagarina "A Million Voices" English 2 303 1 182
2016 Sergey Lazarev "You Are the Only One" English 3 491 1 342
2017 Julia Samoylova "Flame Is Burning" English Withdrawn[d] X
2018 Julia Samoylova "I Won't Break" English Failed to qualify 15 65
2019 Sergey Lazarev "Scream" English 3 370 6 217
2020 Little Big "Uno" English, Spanish Contest cancelled[e] X
2021 Manizha "Russian Woman" Russian, English 9 204 3 225

Related involvement[edit]


Year Conductor Notes Ref.
1994 Russia Lev Zemlinski
1995 Belarus Mikhail Finberg
1997 Sweden Rutger Gunnarsson

Heads of delegation[edit]

Broadcaster Year(s) Head of delegation Ref.
Channel One ???-2003 Elena Arkhipova [6][better source needed]
2004-2021 Yuri Aksyuta [7][better source needed]
RTR 2008-2019 Ekaterina Orlova [8]

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year Commentator Channel Spokesperson Ref.
1992 Unknown RTR Did not participate
1993 Vadim Dolgachyov
1994 Sergey Antipov Irina Klenskaya
1995 No commentator[f] ORT Marina Danielyan
1997 Philipp Kirkorov, Sergey Antipov Arina Sharapova [10]
1999 Aleksey Zhuravlev, Tatyana Godunova Did not participate
2000 Zhanna Agalakova
2001 Alexander Anatolievich, Konstantin Mikhailov Larisa Verbitskaya
2002 Yuri Aksyuta, Elena Batinova Arina Sharapova
2003 Channel 1 Yana Churikova
2006 Yuri Aksyuta, Tatyana Godunova
2007 Yuri Aksyuta, Elena Batinova
2008 Dmitry Guberniev, Olga Shelest Russia Oxana Fedorova
2009 Yana Churikova (all shows),
Aleksey Manuylov (semi-finals),
Philipp Kirkorov (final)
Channel 1 Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė
2010 Dmitry Guberniev, Olga Shelest Russia 1 Oxana Fedorova
2011 Yuri Aksyuta, Yana Churikova Channel 1 Dima Bilan
2012 Dmitry Guberniev, Olga Shelest Russia 1 Oxana Fedorova
2013 Yuri Aksyuta, Yana Churikova Channel 1 Alsou [11]
2014 Dmitry Guberniev, Olga Shelest Russia 1 [12]
2015 Yuri Aksyuta, Yana Churikova Channel 1 Dmitry Shepelev
2016 Dmitry Guberniev, Ernest Mackevičius Russia 1 Nyusha
2018 Yuri Aksyuta, Yana Churikova Channel 1 Alsou
2019 Dmitry Guberniev, Olga Shelest Russia 1 Ivan Bessonov [13][14][15]
2021 Yuri Aksyuta, Yana Churikova Channel 1 Polina Gagarina [16][17]

Costume designers[edit]

Year Costume designers Ref.
1994 Pavel Kaplevich
2000 Maria Grachvogel
2002 Valentin Yudashkin

Viewing figures[edit]

Year Region(s) Share Rating Ref.
1997 All of Russia 53.8% N/A [21][better source needed]
2001 All of Russia 31.1% 5.5% [22]
2004 All of Russia 51.6% 16.1% [22]
2005 All of Russia 40.2% 11% [22]
2007 All of Russia 53.6% 17% [23]
2008 All of Russia 47% 8.4% [23]
2009 All of Russia 64.2% 17.6% [22]
2010 Rest of Russia 37.2% N/A [22]
Moscow 46.5% N/A
2011 Rest of Russia 33% 5.4% [22]
Moscow 35.5% 8%
2012 All of Russia 47.7% 12.1% [24]
2013 All of Russia 32.5% 6% [25]
2014 All of Russia 31.5% 5.2% [25]
2015 All of Russia 31.6% 6.8% [26]
2016 All of Russia 37% 6.8% [26]
2018 All of Russia 11.6% 2.2% [26]
2019 All of Russia 28.2% 4.6% [26]
2020[g] All of Russia 11.7% 3% [27]
2021 All of Russia 23.1% 3.8% [27]


Year Location Venue Presenters Ref.
2009 Moscow Olympic Indoor Arena Natalia Vodianova and Andrey Malahov (semi-finals)
Alsou and Ivan Urgant (final)


Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Category Song Performer Final Points Host city Ref.
2016 Press Award "You Are the Only One" Sergey Lazarev 3 491 Sweden Stockholm [29]

Barbara Dex Award[edit]

Year Performer Host city Ref.
2003 t.A.T.u. Latvia Riga [30]


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ In 1996, Russia failed to qualify from the audio only pre-qualification round. The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Russia's total list of appearances.
  2. ^ a b c If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in Semi-finals. In addition, from 2004 to 2007, the top 10 non-Big Four countries did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top 10, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's grand final along with all countries in the top 10.
  3. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.
  4. ^ Russia withdrew from the 2017 contest, after Julia Samoylova was banned from entering the host country Ukraine. The official Eurovision site does not count 2017 in Russia's total list of appearances.
  5. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. ^ The contest was shown in the recording and without a commentator due to the fact that "The editorial office of Ostankino music and entertainment programs failed to allocate an hour and a half of the prime time airtime of ORT for showing competitive video clips [sic]"[9]
  7. ^ Statistics for "Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light"


  1. ^ a b "ВГТРК, Первый канал, Радио дом "Останкино" приостановили членство в ЕВС" [All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, Channel One and Ostankino Radio House suspended membership in the EBU]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). 26 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Європейська мовна спілка призупинила членство російських ЗМІ" [The European Broadcasting Union has suspended membership of the Russian media]. (Press release) (in Ukrainian). UA:PBC. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  3. ^ "ТАТЬЯНА ОВСИЕНКО: "ВО ВРЕМЯ КРИЗИСА ЛЕПЛЮ ГОРШКИ!" — Новости Набережных Челнов, Казани и Татарстана".
  4. ^ "REVEALED: the 41 countries joining Eurovision in Turin 2022". 20 October 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  5. ^ "EBU statement regarding the participation of Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022". 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Russia".
  7. ^ "Russia".
  8. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "ESCKAZ в Тель-Авиве: Интервью с Екатериной Орловой, главой делегации России". YouTube.
  9. ^ ""ЕВРОВИДЕНИЕ" НАКОНЕЦ-ТО ПОКИНУЛО ИРЛАНДИЮ : - © Газета "Музыкальная правда" - 11 - Издательский Дом "Новый Взгляд" - Издательский Дом "Новый Взгляд" -". Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  10. ^ Россия на конкурсе Евровидение (Eurovision) (3 May 1997). "Eurovision Song Contest 1997, Dublin. Broadcast of the ORT channel, fragments". Retrieved 11 May 2022 – via VK.
  11. ^ ""Good evening Malmö" – Voting order revealed". EBU. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  12. ^ ""Good evening Copenhagen" – Voting order revealed". EBU. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  13. ^ "Дмитрий Губерниев (@guberniev_dmitry) on Instagram Ghostarchive". Archived from the original on 23 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Страна провожает Сергея Лазарева на "Евровидение"" (in Russian). Russia-1. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Иван Бессонов объявит в эфире результаты "Евровидения-2019"" (in Russian). Russia-1. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Russia: Channel One Confirms Eurovision 2021 Participation". Eurovoix. 28 September 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  17. ^ "ЕвроВижн с Яной Чу Little big слились! Аксюта поясняет! Манижа рыдает!". 12 March 2021. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Певица с мировым именем".
  20. ^ "Таллинн принимает "Евровидение-2002"". 25 May 2002.
  21. ^ "News Eurovision Serbia 2008 Новости Евровидения 2008 Сербия". Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Провал "Евровидения" в телеэфире". 18 May 2011.
  23. ^ a b "Победа Билана на "Евровидении" обеспечила "России" рекордные рейтинги".
  24. ^ "Рейтинг Евровидения-2012 оказался рекордным".
  25. ^ a b "Евровидение не нашло спонсоров в России".
  26. ^ a b c d "«Евровидение-2019» посмотрела почти треть аудитории российского ТВ". 21 May 2019.
  27. ^ a b "Рейтинги". Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  28. ^ "Exclusive: The hosts of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest!". Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  29. ^ "Winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards 2016". 15 May 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  30. ^ Adams, William Lee (9 July 2015). "Poll: Who was the worst dressed Barbara Dex Award winner?". Wiwibloggs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.