Depardieu slams Putin’s “crazy excesses”, Russia offers interpretation of Ukraine crisis

The Kremlin on Friday offered to “explain” Moscow’s actions in Ukraine to French actor Gerard Depardieu after he denounced the “crazy and unacceptable excesses” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Depardieu, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2013, told AFP on Thursday that the Russian people were not responsible for the “crazy and unacceptable excesses of their leaders like Vladimir Putin”.

Depardieu also said he would give all proceeds of three nights of concerts in Paris from April 1 to “the Ukrainian victims of this tragic fratricidal war”.

The 72-year-old French actor was friends with Putin, but opposed the conflict in Ukraine and called for negotiations just days after Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine began.

On Friday, the Kremlin said it was ready to explain the situation in Ukraine to Depardieu.

“I suggest that Depardieu probably does not fully understand what is happening,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“He does not understand what happened in Ukraine in 2014,” Peskov said, referring to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“If necessary, we will be ready to tell him about this and explain it so that he understands better,” Peskov added.

In 2013, when Putin granted Depardieu Russian citizenship, it sparked a protest in France where the actor was accused of abandoning his homeland to avoid a new tax rate for millionaires.

The famous French actor and star of films such as “The Last Metro” and “Cyrano de Bergerac” personally received his new passport from Putin at the residence of the Russian leader on the Black Sea coast.

In 2015, a year after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Ukraine banned Depardieu from entering the country.

Depardieu is currently facing rape charges in France, where he is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a young actress at his home in Paris in August 2018. The actor has denied the charges, calling them “baseless”.

Russian MP Sultan Khamezaev said, on Friday, that Depardieu should be stripped of Russian citizenship and handed over his property to orphans.

(France 24 with Agence France-Presse and Reuters)

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