French actor Depardieu Moves to Russian Mordovia Where Punk Band Pussy Riot Rots in Jail: Complains in France “anything different must be sanctioned.”

7 Jan

French actor Depardieu takes Passport from Putin and Moves to Russian Mordovia where Punk Band Pussy Riot Rots in Jail, Complaining in France “success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned.”

The Russian region of Mordovia is best known for its harsh Stalin-era gulag prison camps, which, according to the BBC,  remain Mordovia’s principal employer today. One of the convicted – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – is serving her sentence there.

French actor Gerard Depardieu arrived at his new home in Mordovia today, after receiving his new Russian passport from Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. He left France earlier this week saying “I am leaving [France] because you believe success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned.”

Depardieu warmly welcomed to freedom by Putin

Depardieu warmly welcomed to freedom by Putin

The Russian region of Mordovia is best known for its harsh Stalin-era gulag prison camps, which, according to the BBC,  remain Mordovia’s principal employer today. One of the convicted members of the punk band Pussy Riot – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – is serving her sentence there.

Depardieu is best known internationally for a 2011 incident aboard an Air France flight during which Depardieu declared “Je veux pisser, je veux pisser!” before urinating in the aisle and being unceremoniously removed from the plane.

Arriving in Mordovia’s main city, Saransk, in the dead of winter, Depardieu waved his new passport as he was welcomed by costumed women, served Mordovian traditional pancakes, blini, and given a pair of felt boots and two kittens.

“I am very happy, it’s very beautiful here, beautiful and soulful people live here,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Gerard Depardieu 2

Marguerite Duras, who directed him in two of his films, once described him as “a big, beautiful runaway truck of a man”.

Gerard Depardieu, whose ballooning weight has added to his oversized reputation of personality, loves food, owns several restaurants and wine vineyards, and drinks six bottles of wine a day.

Depardieu also is fond of motorcycles, having  survived 17 accidents, only last month arrested for drunk driving after falling off his scooter in Paris, and in August charged with assault and battery after a spat with someone he accused of knocking him from his bike.

The conservative French paper Le Figaro has opined that “in wanting to leave his country, what he is denouncing is a French oppression. It is getting worse and becoming intolerable. This oppression is intellectual, with its weighty conformity; it is moral, with its institutionalized relativism; it is fiscal, with its confiscatory taxes.”

In 2011, Depardieu announced he had moved from France to a small town 800 meters from the French border in Belgium to dodge a 75% French tax rate. He was denounced by the French Socialist government as unpatriotic, “shabby”, and “pathetic”.

“I am leaving because you believe success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned,” he wrote.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party head, Jean-Francois Cope, defended the actor saying “I’m sorry to witness how the Socialist government is bringing our country down,” he said. “This fiscal battering is destroying our talents, our artists, creators, researchers, and entrepreneurs – it’s insane.”

Depardieu hailed Russia’s decision to grant him citizenship calling it “a great democracy”.

President Vladimir Putin personally signed the decree granting the actor Russian citizenship, saying “If he’d like to have a Russian passport, consider it settled.”

“I love your country, Russia – its people, its history, its writers. I love your culture, your intelligence,” the former French actor said, adding Russia was “a great democracy, and not a country where the prime minister calls one of its citizens shabby”.

Russia has a flat 13% personal income tax rate. The former French actor stars in an advertisement for Sovietsky Bank’s credit card.

Which all goes to show that Americans have as much fun making fun of France as our French friends have making fun of us. And both be equally as smug in our correctness.

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