Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest


Member station Channel One
National selection events
Appearances 21 (21 finals)
First appearance 1994
Best result 1st: 2008
Worst result 17th: 1995
External links
Channel One page
Channel Russia page
Russia's page at
For the most recent participation see
Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Russia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 20 times since their debut in 1994 and has participated every year since 2000. Russia won the 2008 contest with Dima Bilan performing the song "Believe". Russia co-holds (with Sweden) the record for the most top five finishes in the 21st century; finishing 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 and Sergey Lazarev in 2016, and fifth with Dina Garipova in 2013, for a total of nine top five results.

Russia is the only country that has never missed the final since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004.[note 1]

Contest history

Their debut was in the 1994 contest after Russia became a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). In 2000, 2006, 2012 and 2015 Russia came second in the contest with Alsou's song "Solo", Dima Bilan's "Never Let You Go" and Buranovskiye Babushki with "Party for Everybody", Polina Gagarina's "A Million Voices" song, respectively. In 2003, 2007 and 2016 Russia placed 3rd, with t.A.T.u.'s "Ne Ver', Ne Boysia", Serebro's "Song #1" and Sergey Lazarev's "You Are the Only One"

In 1996, Russia's entry was Andrey Kosinski with the song "Me is me", but on the eve of competition (for the second time in its history), he scored an insufficient number of points in a special qualifying round and therefore missed the 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 was required to submit Tatyana Ovsiyenko with the song "My Sun".

Since the introduction of the semi-finals, Russia is the only country that has never missed a final.

Russia won their first Eurovision Song 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 in 2000-2009, 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 place 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 nine, most recently with Sergey Lazarev, who was third in 2016 with 491 points, which is the highest score of any Russian contestant.


The contest has been broadcast irregularly on two different public state channels in Russia, both EBU members: for the 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, with Russia-1 on even years, and Channel One on odd ones.


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1994 Youddiph Russian "Vechni stranik" (Вечный странник) 9 70 No semi-finals
1995 Philipp Kirkorov Russian "Kolybelnaya dlya vulkana" (Колыбельная для вулкана) 17 17
1996a Andrei Kosinsky Russian "Ya eto ya" (Я это я) Failed to qualify 26 14
1997 Alla Pugacheva Russian "Primadonna" (Примадонна) 15 33 No semi-finals
Did not participate in 1998 and 1999b
2000 Alsou English "Solo" 2 155
2001 Mumiy Troll English "Lady Alpine Blue" 12 37
2002 Prime Minister English "Northern Girl" 10 55
2003 t.A.T.u. Russian "Ne ver', ne boisia" (Не верь, не бойся) 3 164
2004 Yulia Savicheva English "Believe Me" 11 67 Top 11 Previous Year
2005 Natalia Podolskaya English "Nobody Hurt No One" 15 57 Top 12 Previous Year
2006 Dima Bilan English "Never Let You Go" 2 248 3 217
2007 Serebro English "Song #1" 3 207 Top 10 Previous Year
2008 Dima Bilan English "Believe" 1 272 3 135
2009 Anastasia Prikhodko Russian, Ukrainian "Mamo" (Мамо) 11 91 Host country
2010 Peter Nalitch and Friends English "Lost and Forgotten" 11 90 7 74
2011 Alexej Vorobjov English, Russian "Get You" 16 77 9 64
2012 Buranovskiye Babushki Udmurt, English "Party for Everybody" 2 259 1 152
2013 Dina Garipova English "What If" 5 174 2 156
2014 Tolmachevy Sisters English "Shine" 7 89 6 63
2015 Polina Gagarina English "A Million Voices" 2 303 1 182
2016 Sergey Lazarev English "You Are the Only One" 3 491 1 342
a. ^ 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.
b. ^ Russia was forced to sit out another year in 1999, as the EBU only allows countries which had broadcast the previous year's contest to enter the next year's contest.
c. If a country won the previous year, they did not have to compete in Semi Finals. In addition, back in 2005-2007, countries who done well did not have to compete in Semi Finals the following year. The top ten non-Big four along with the Big four countries automatically qualified, 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 everyone within the top 10.

Act selection process

Year Selection process Channel
1994 National Final with 9 participants Russia 1
1995 Internal Selection Channel 1
1996 National Final with 14 participants Russia 1
1997 Internal Selection Channel 1
Did not participate between 1998 and 1999
2000 Internal Selection Channel 1
2005 National Final with 29 participants
2006 Internal Selection
2008 National Final with 27 participants Russia 1
2009 National Final with 16 participants Channel 1
2010 National Final with 25 participants Russia 1
2011 Internal Selection Channel 1
2012 National Final with 25 participants Russia 1
2013 Internal Selection Channel 1
2014 Russia 1
2015 Channel 1
2016 Russia 1

Commentators and spokespersons

Year(s) Commentator Dual Commentator Spokesperson Channel
1994 Vadim Dolgachyov No Dual Commentator Arina Sharapova Russia 1
1995 Unknown Marina Danielyan Channel 1
1996 Vadim Dolgachyov Russia did not participate Russia 1
1997 Philipp Kirkorov Sergei Antipov Arina Sharapova Channel 1
1998 No Broadcast No Broadcast Russia did not participate No Broadcast
1999 Aleksej Zhuravlev Tatjana Godunova Channel 1
2000 Zhanna Agalakova
2001 Alexander Anatolievich Konstantin Mikhailov Larisa Verbickaya
2002 Yuriy Aksuta Elena Batinova Arina Sharapova
2003 Yana Churikova
2006 Tatjana Godunova
2007 Elena Batinova
2008 Dmitry Guberniev Olga Shelest Oxana Fedorova Russia 1
2009 Yana Churikova Semi-finals — Aleksey Manuylov;
FinalPhilipp Kirkorov
Ingeborga Dapkunaite Channel 1
2010 Dmitry Guberniev Olga Shelest Oxana Fedorova Russia 1
2011 Yuriy Aksuta Yana Churikova Dima Bilan Channel 1
2012 Dmitry Guberniev Olga Shelest Oxana Fedorova Russia 1
2013 Yuriy Aksuta Yana Churikova Alsou Channel 1
2014 Dmitry Guberniev Olga Shelest Russia 1
2015 Yuriy Aksuta Yana Churikova Dmitry Shepelev Channel 1
2016 Dmitry Guberniev Ernest Matskyavichys Nyusha Russia 1
2017 TBA TBA TBA Channel 1

Voting history

As of 2016, Russia's voting history is as follows:

Most points given in the grand finals only
Rank Country Points
1  Ukraine 93
2  Armenia 91
3  Azerbaijan 88
4  Greece 59
5  France 58
Most points received in the grand finals only
Rank Country Points
1  Estonia 163
2  Belarus 153
3  Latvia 148
4  Israel 122
5  Ukraine 116

Most points given in the semis and finals
Rank Country Points
1  Armenia 171
2  Azerbaijan 147
3  Ukraine 116
4  Moldova 112
5  Greece 102
Most points received in the semis and finals
Rank Country Points
1  Estonia 227
2  Belarus 199
3  Moldova 195
4  Latvia 186
5  Armenia 181


Year Location Venue Presenters
2009 Moscow Olympic Indoor Arena Semi-finals: Natalia Vodianova and Andrey Malahov;
Final: Alsou and Ivan Urgant[1]

Other awards

Marcel Bezençon Awards

Further information: Marcel Bezençon Awards

Press Award

Year Song Performer Final Result Points Host city
2016 "You Are the Only One" Sergey Lazarev 3rd 491 Stockholm


See also

Notes and references


  1. The "Big Five" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom) are not counted in this list since they receive automatic qualification to the final. Neither is Azerbaijan who qualified every year, but debuted in 2008. Also Ukraine and Romania are not counted because, despite having always reached the final, they skipped the contests in 2015 and in 2016 respectively.


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