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New Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu formalized his residency with a celebration over the weekend in his adopted hometown of Saransky, Mordovia.
As a bureaucratic formality, the former Frenchman was required to register a home address and will be using an apartment at 1 Democracy Street as his formal address. Depardieu, who called the country “a great democracy” upon obtaining his citizenship after a fast-tracked application at the behest of President Vladimir Putin in January, was given the apartment by longtime friend Nikolai Borodachev, director general of Gosfilmfond, Russia’s state film agency.
STORY: Gerard Depardieu Slams Pussy Riot, Opposition in Russian TV Interview
The new resident was greeted with a grand ceremony. “Glory to Saransk, Glory to Mordovia, Glory to Russia!” he said in Russian, as reported by media outlets. He also announced plans to open a restaurant in his new hometown. (No stranger to the food business, Depardieu already owns successful restaurants and wine bars in Paris and owns several vineyards throughout Europe.) He has also vowed to build a house in the countryside.
Though he was scheduled for a four-day tour of the area, Depardieu instead flew to Grozny, Chechny to visit Ramzan Kadyrov, the controversial leader of the region, where he was greeted by traditional dancers and joined in waiving his fists in the air. Depardieu celebrated Kadyrov’s birthday in the capital last year. Kadyrov posted pictures of the two embracing on his Instagram account.
Depardieu stated he intends to make a film about the republic’s rebuilding after the wars of the 1990s and early 2000s. “I want to make a movie here, to show that a big film can be made in Grozny. I want to explain how one man could build a city anew in five years,” Depardieu was quoted by the Chechen government’s official press service.
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