Support The Moscow Times!

Kiev Releases 'White List' of Ukraine-Friendly Russian, International Celebrities

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Ukraine's Culture Ministry published a list of international celebrities Thursday, including prominent Russian writers and musicians, who are seen as deserving of the support of the Ukrainian state.

Russians on the so-called “white list” include rock musicians Yury Shevchuk, Andrei Makarevich and Zemfira, as well as writers Boris Akunin and Viktor Shenderovich.

Ties between Moscow and Kiev have deteriorated to a post-Soviet low over the past year amid fighting between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops, but some prominent artists in Russia have spoken out against Russian aggression and declared their support for Ukraine.

At a July 3 concert in Tbilisi, Zemfira tied a Ukrainian flag to her microphone, while Makarevich has been attacked by Russian officials and had concerts canceled in Russia after he performed in Ukraine.

The list also featured a few non-Russian names, including Hollywood actors Tim Roth, George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and European rock legends Martin Gore of Depeche Mode and Klaus Meine of the Scorpions.

The "white list" comes on the heels of a black list of cultural figures — mainly Russian ones — for whom Kiev has banned entry to the country. Figures on that list include Russian crooner Iosif Kobzon, French actor Gerard Depardieu, U.S. director Oliver Stone and U.S. actor Steven Seagal.

Read more