After receiving the Russian citizenship, Gerard Depardieu started touring his new country. One of his first visits was to Chechnya where the actor was presented with the 5 room apartment in one of the elite buildings of Grozny (evaluated to be worth about 15 million rubles, or 500,000 USD).
However, there are good reasons to doubt the legitimacy of such generous gift, since the apartment’s cost was financed from the municipal property fund for the socially weak population. Therefore, the resident of Novosibirsk Rostislav Antonov has filed a complaint to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Here is what he writes in his blog:
The story of Depardieu’s citizenship change is becoming more and more grotesque. No sooner had the ink dried on his Russian passport than the actor started to receive multiple gifts.
At first Depardieu was issued a residence permit in the apartment of Nikolay Borodachev, director of the Russian Federation of Film Archives (“Gosfilmofond”) in Saransk. The 64-year-old Gerard was so touched by the warm reception of local authorities that he immediately promised to build there a restaurant and marry a local girl.
Some time later, apartment in Murmansk was promised to Depardieu by the local municipal council’s deputy Sergey Gabrielyan.
But the “race” was won by the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov who gave Depardieu an elite apartment in Grozny City.
It should be noted that Gerard honestly fulfills the protocol of stunts expected from him in such cases. In Mordovia he wore a national costume, to Chechnya he arrived in fur cap and in Grozny danced Lezginka. Of course, he did not promise to marry a Chechen woman, but it’s not sure that he would be allowed to do it.
Depardieu hasn’t gone to Murmansk yet, since it’s very cold there – so Gabrielyan’s apartment is safe.
This exhibition of unprecedented generosity leaves mixed feelings. On the one hand, we truly love and appreciate French cinema and French culture. Therefore, the initial reaction to the adoption of Russian citizenship by the French actor was generally positive, but soon we learned some “nuances” of the deal.
First of all, Depardieu received the citizenship not because of sincere love for Russian culture, but due to some short-term mercantile considerations – namely, tax evasion at home. Then there was a story of his troubles with the court due to driving under influence of alcohol.
If the attitude towards non-payers of taxes in Russia is more or less tolerant because of the terrible corruption in the government, the widespread opinion about drunk drivers is extremely negative regardless of their social status.
Another irritating factor was the general hysteria of authorities. The campaign around Gerard represents a strange mixture of humiliation in front of “the big guest from the Capital” and extravagant gestures of “the master throwing a lavish gift to a comedian”. It would be bearable, if Gerard “paid for the lunch” at his own expense (the man is definitely not poor), but this generosity is funded from regional budgets – that is, from the pockets of “Russians compatriots”.
I’d like to pay special attention to the current governor of Grozny, Kadyrov, who provided the actor with social housing, which is allocated according to the Housing Code of the Russian Federation. I have carefully read the document and found no case for “unemployed French actor”, who also hardly belongs to “socially weak” group.
Upon signing the social tenancy agreement Depardieu receives the right to free privatization of the property, which given the illegal procedure of the purchase will cause a direct damage to the budget of the city of Grozny. And this is already falling under the article 285.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
Therefore, I feel obliged to address the General Prosecutor’s Office to check the legality of the actions of the head of Chechnya [ed: photocopies of the letters attached].
In the history of Russia there was only one example when Russians were selflessly helping the French. It was when the defeated soldiers of Napoleon’s army, who left behind, were wandering in ragged uniforms from village to village, asking for food from the Russian peasants and pathetically calling them “cher ami“.
Many of these poor fellows had been employed later by the noble families as servants and teachers of French, and forever remained in Russia. Those times are long gone, but the wandering French still left.
Comments of Russian netizens
vigillante: I like Depardieu. He is trolling the stupid public and authorities. It’s a good illustration that in Russia money can do EVERYTHING. It will be cool if he gives up the Russian citizenship and becomes the Argentinian citizen. Really cool )а мне вот нравится Депардье. Нормально он троллит тупую общественность и власти. Наглядный пример, что за деньги в рф можно делать решительно ВСЁ. Будет оч круто, если он откажется от россиянского гражданства и станет каким-нибудь аргентинцем. Это будет очень круто )
alexeyrakin: When Pierre Richard was asked if he could request Russian passport from Putin, answered: “”Pas question. J’aime trop les russes pour aimer Poutine.”Пьер Ришар, на вопрос может ли он попросить у Путина российский паспорт, ответил, дословно: ‘Pas question. J’aime trop les russes pour aimer Poutine.’
vit_us: New entertainment for Mr. botox. French clown…