French Actor Gérard Depardieu Blacklisted By Ukraine’s Minister of Culture

Gerard Depardieu with his Russian passport.

French actor Gérard Depardieu has been banned from entering the Ukraine for the next five years.

Ukraine’s minister of culture Ivan Kirilenko revealed that in addition to Depardieu, 117 prominent entertainment figures “who have spoken out in support of the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty” will be blacklisted, according to Reuters.

Depardieu’s support of Russia came on the heels of France’s 2012 attempt to impose a “super tax” that would inflict a 75 percent rate on any earnings its residents made above €1 million. Some of France’s high-profile residents, such as LVMH’s Bernard Arnault, threatened to switch their citizenship status as a result. In 2013, Depardieu spearheaded a public campaign against the French government’s plan to impose the tax and picked up a Russian passport along the way.

The tax law was eventually dropped, according to the Guardian, because it was accused of being “anti-business.”

Depardieu, known for film roles such as that of comic book character Obélix, has over the years been an avid supporter of Russia and its political theater. He even started a line of “proud to be Russian” watches with Swiss watch manufacturer Cvstos, called Russia a “great democracy,” and bought a piece of property in Mordovia. Oh, and his passport was personally delivered to him by none other than president Vladimir Putin.

According to the Guardian, Depardieu has still felt an attachment to his homeland France but “[refuses] to be trapped within borders.”

In August 2013, he also became an honorary citizen of Belgium.

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