Putin friend Gérard Depardieu bemoans ‘fratricidal war’

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Gérard Depardieu

Gérard Depardieu

French actor and close friend to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Gérard Depardieu, said in an interview that he opposed the “fratricidal war” between Russia and Ukraine, explaining the two “have always been brother countries.”

In a phone interview with the AFP, Depardieu said, “I am against this fratricidal war. I say ‘stop the weapons and negotiate’,” according to France 24.

The French actor also included part of his interview with AFP in a post on Instagram Tuesday with quotes featured over a photo of his face saying, “Russia and Ukraine have always been brother countries. I am against this fratricidal war.”

The caption of the post read “peace” in French.

The French actor has enjoyed close ties to Putin, who gave Depardieu Russian citizenship during a dinner in 2013, The New York Times reported.

“I love your president, Vladimir Putin, very much and it’s mutual,” the French actor said in a letter to Russian state Television, who sought Russian citizenship to avoid paying French taxes, according to the newspaper.

Other high-profile celebrities, officials and athletes have also spoken up against the invasion. Former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei V. Kozyrev urged diplomats on Monday to resign in protest against the conflict.

“Dear Russian diplomats, you are professionals and not cheap propagandists. When I worked at the Foreign Ministry, I was proud of my colleagues. Now it is simply impossible to support the bloody fratricidal war in Ukraine,” he said on Twitter.

The United Nations estimates that roughly 875,000 people have fled Ukraine since last Thursday, according to its database tracking refugee arrivals.

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