Ukraine Bans Films Featuring a Russian Actor Who Supported Separatists

Ivan Okhlobystin - P 2014

Ivan Okhlobystin - P 2014

Over 70 films featuring Ivan Okhlobystin were banned following his visit to the Donbass region

Ukraine has banned films and TV series featuring Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who recently visited the Donbass region controlled by separatists. He is also notorious for statements that "gays should be put alive into an oven."

Ukraine's expert commission on film exhibition has ruled that exhibition licenses for over 70 films starring Okhlobystin should be revoked, announced Yuri Artemenko, head of the National Council for Television and Radio, on his Facebook page.

Earlier, Ukraine's culture minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko called for banning films featuring Okhlobystin "out of Ukrainians' self-respect," according to a message on his Twitter account.

In late November, Okhlobystin, who is banned from entering Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia over his support of the Kremlin's policies towards Ukraine, visited Donbass to screen a new movie in which he starred, Iyerei San, and publicly announced his support for pro-Russian separatists in the region.

The actor reacted to the ban with a scathing remark on his Twitter account. "You idiots didn't ban 71 films featuring me, you created 71 pretext to break the law," he said.

Okhlobystin, who served as an Orthodox priest for almost 10 years and later announced his intention to run for president in the 2012 election, earned notoriety a year ago when he said that he "would put all the gays alive into an oven" during a talk he gave in Novosibirsk. 

Earlier, Ukrainian authorities banned films featuring another Russian actor, Mikhail Porechenkov, who fired a machine gun at Ukrainian forces in a region controlled by pro-Russian separatists, as well as films and TV series glorifying the Russian army, police and secret services.