Director Nikita Mikhalkov Speaks Out After Ukraine Ban

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Nikita Mikhalkov

The Oscar-winning director is on a blacklist of cultural figures banned from entering Ukraine.

Oscar-winning Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov compared his ban from entering Ukraine to Nazi policies during World War II.

On Monday, Ukraine announced a list of international cultural figures who are banned from entering the country over their support of Russia's stand on Crimea and East Ukraine, which included Mikhalkov.

"I feel the same as [Russian director] Sergei Eisenstein would have felt if he had been banned from entering Nazi Germany in 1939," Mikhalkov was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The veteran director, who won an Oscar in the best foreign film category back in 1994 for Burnt by the Sun, has supported the Kremlin's policy toward Ukraine since last year's Maidan revolution and subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Last year, Mikhalkov said that "[a]nyone who says Crimea is not Russian is the enemy."

As relations between the two countries soured last year, some Russian politicians and journalists began to refer to the new Ukrainian authorities, which replaced the regime of president Victor Yanukovych, as "fascists."

Incidentally, before the fall of Yanukovych, Mikhalkov maintained friendly relations with Ukraine. He was a guest of the Odessa International Film Festival in 2011 and later filmed some of the scenes from his most recent movie, Solnechny udar (Sunstroke) in Odessa.

Ukraine's blacklist features 13 people, including Russian actors Ivan Okhlobystin and Mikhail Porechenkov and French actor and Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu.

 

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