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Next year's Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow will begin
Next year's Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow will begin on May 9, according to a schedule approved by Moscow authorities, a source in the city's administration said on Thursday.

Russia's Dima Bilan won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade on May 24, winning 272 points from telephone voters to claim the country's first-ever win in the event with his heartfelt ballad Believe.

The Eurovision victory automatically gave Russia the right to host the 2009 song contest, which has been running since 1956.

In mid-July Moscow was chosen ahead of other Russian cities bidding to host Eurovision.

"The semifinals will be held on May 12 and 14, with the Grand Final - on May 16 in the Olimpiysky sports complex," he went on.

"The opening ceremony will be held on May 9, at Vorobyovy Gory [Sparrow Hills], the closing ceremony - on May 16, at Gostiny Dvor," the source said.

Entrants representing 43 countries will take part in the 2009 competition.


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