Ukraine blacklists Depardieu and 13 other Russian artists | News | DW | 09.08.2015
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Ukraine blacklists Depardieu and 13 other Russian artists

Kyiv has blacklisted more than a dozen Russian actors and singers, meaning their work can no longer be seen or heard in Ukraine. Among those whose work is barred is French-born actor Gerard Depardieu.

Kyiv's ministry of culture released a statement on Saturday saying that Depardieu (pictured above left) and the 13 others on the list had been declared "a threat to national security" for supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea.

Ministry spokesperson Daryna Glushchenko said that the bans would be implemented in the near future.

Among the other names on the list is Iosif Kobzon, a 77-year-old Russian member of parliament and crooner, who has been dubbed "the Soviet (Frank) Sinatra." Kobzon, who was born in eastern Ukraine, was already on a list of individuals targeted by European Union sanctions for their alleged support of the pro-Russian separatists.

Another is Mikhail Boyarsky, a movie star from the Soviet era, accused by Kyiv of signing an open letter in support of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Naturalized Russian

The French-born Depardieu, whose name appears last on the list of banned artists, was granted Russian citizenship two years ago, after he sought to avoid a tax on the super-rich proposed by France's Socialist government.

The 66-year-old Depardieu was personally presented with his Russian passport by President Putin, with whom he appears to have struck up a close friendship.

Last month, Ukraine banned Depardieu from entering the country for five years.

Depardieu, who now resides in Belgium, has appreared in a number of popular films, including "Cyrano de Bergerac," "Green Card," and "Le dernier Metro."

pfd/bk (AFP, dpa)

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