Kremlin Fires Back After Depardieu Slams 'Crazy' Putin

French actor has praised Russian leader in the past
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2022 11:20 AM CDT
Depardieu Slams 'Crazy Excesses' of Former Friend Putin
Depardieu and Putin in happier times.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

(Newser) – The friendship between Gerard Depardieu and Vladimir Putin has become yet another victim of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The French actor, who has praised Putin in the past and received a Russian passport and a hug from the leader in 2013, has strongly denounced the invasion. "The Russian people are not responsible for the crazy, unacceptable excesses of their leaders like Vladimir Putin," Depardieu said in a statement to AFP. Depardieu also spoke out against the war and called for negotiations soon after the invasion last month. "Russia and Ukraine have always been brother countries," he said.

Depardieu said Thursday that he would direct the proceeds from three nights of concerts in Paris to the "Ukrainian victims of this tragic fratricidal war," the BBC reports. The Kremlin responded to Depardieu's remarks by saying he doesn't understand the conflict, reports Politico. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Depardieu "hardly understands what is the bombing of civilians, he is unlikely to know about the nationalist elements." Peskov said "we will be ready to ... explain it so that he understands better." Depardieu, who took Russian nationality after complaining about French tax laws, said earlier this year that he has been spending most of his time in Mediterranean countries and is now also a "Dubai citizen." (Read more Gerard Depardieu stories.)

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