Gerard Depardieu Banned from Entering Ukraine

Gerard Depardieu Russia – H 2013

Gerard Depardieu Russia – H 2013

The actor had been a supporter of Kremlin policies toward Ukraine.

French actor and Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu has been banned from entering Ukraine over support for the Kremlin.

"SBU [The Security Service of Ukraine] has made a decision to ban French actor Gerard Depardieu from entering Ukraine for five years," an SBU spokesperson was quoted as saying by the news agency Interfax.

She added that relevant documents have been sent to the country's border control service for including Depardieu into the database of people banned from entering Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Depardieu was put on a list of 500 foreign artists, actors and other creative people who have supported the annexation of Crimea by Russia or pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, thereby "posing a threat to Ukraine's territorial integrity."

Compiled by the non-governmental organization Vidsich, the list was sent to Ukraine's culture ministry, which passed it on to SBU. Still, the culture ministry said it had no plans of banning films starring Depardieu.

Depardieu, who obtained Russian citizenship by president Vladimir Putin's decree in January 2013 and subsequently received apartments in Saransk, Mordovia and Grozny, Chechnya, has repeatedly expressed support for the Kremlin's policies towards Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Depardieu visited Russia's neighboring country of Belarus and was pictured with its authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko, who is to be seeking reelection later this year.

In Belarus, he announced a new project, a movie about the Normandie-Nieman fighter squadron's pilots who flew alongside Soviet pilots over the Eastern Front during World War II.