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Ukraine Blacklists Russian Pop Star Filipp Kirkorov Over Crimea Support

Kirkorov is the 201st Russian pop culture figure to be blacklisted in Ukraine for supporting Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Update: Ukraine’s culture ministry said Sunday it removed Kirkorov from the blacklist three days after his inclusion, citing requests from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). “The SBU does not specify both the reasons for including and excluding persons from the list,” the ministry said.

Pop star Filipp Kirkorov has become the 201st Russian pop culture figure to be blacklisted in Ukraine for supporting Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, the Ukrainian culture ministry announced Wednesday.

Kirkorov’s inclusion on the “list of persons who pose a threat to national security” means that his work cannot be seen or heard in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s culture ministry said it “automatically” blacklisted Kirkorov on Tuesday, 11 days after receiving a request from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). 

The Bulgarian-born singer regularly tours in Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine to widespread domestic support and international condemnation in 2014.

He joins the French-born actor Gerard Depardieu and the late Donetsk-born crooner Iosif Kobzon, as well as Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst and U.S. boxer Roy Jones, Jr. on the blacklist.

Previously blacklisted actors and singers had said they were “honored” to appear on the list.

Kirkorov, 54, was in January 2021 blacklisted in Lithuania for five years over his support for Russian-annexed Crimea. 

“Crimea is my favorite place in Russia,” Kirkorov wrote on Instagram recently, saying he began his singing career in the resort city of Yalta in 1988.

He is ranked among Russia’s highest-paid celebrities with earnings of $6.6 million in 2020.

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