The Hong Kong Telegraph - Depardieu denounces Putin's 'crazy excesses' in Ukraine

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Depardieu denounces Putin's 'crazy excesses' in Ukraine
Depardieu denounces Putin's 'crazy excesses' in Ukraine

Depardieu denounces Putin's 'crazy excesses' in Ukraine

Veteran actor Gerard Depardieu on Thursday denounced the "crazy, unacceptable excesses" of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

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"The Russian people are not responsible for the crazy, unacceptable excesses of their leaders like Vladimir Putin," the film star, who has praised the Russian leader in the past, said in a statement to AFP.

Depardieu, a long-time star in France before Peter Weir's 1990 "Green Card" also made him a Hollywood celebrity, left France and took up Russian nationality in 2013 to protest a proposed tax hike on the rich in his homeland.

He is also charged with raping and sexually assaulting a young French actress at his home in Paris in 2018, an accusation he has called "baseless".

Depardieu, 72, had become a friend of Putin, but came out against the war in Ukraine and called for negotiations just days after the Russian invasion began last month.

"Russia and Ukraine have always been brother countries," he told AFP then. "Stop the weapons and negotiate".

On Thursday, he said that he would give all the proceeds from three nights of concerts in Paris from Friday to "Ukrainian victims of this tragic fratricidal war".

Since receiving Russian nationality, Depardieu has often praised the country, calling it a "great democracy", and praising Putin, who he has compared to the late pope John Paul II.