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Seventy-Two Hours On The Trail Of Gerard Depardieu



PARIS - It’s been an eventful couple of days for French actor Gérard Depardieu. Or is it Belgian actor Gérard Depardieu? Wait, you said Russian?

In case you're having trouble keeping up with Gégé’s moves, here’s a quick overview of what's happened the past three days in the life of the world's favorite super-sized tax-evader.

Taxtérix & Obélix

Depardieu had already come under criticism from his fellow Frenchmen since he announced he was moving to Belgium to duck out on France's 75% tax on the rich -- and was subsequently renouncing his French nationality.

It’s now Russia’s turn to cope with the famous bon vivant’s antics. Over the weekend, Depardieu tried on for size his new Russian passport, which he received the day before thanks to his good friend President Vladimir Putin. The arrival sparked outrage on Russian social media, but also relief on part of French bloggers, who shared the following picture extensively:

[rebelmouse-image 27086138 alt="""" original_size="318x356" expand=1]

Mr. Putin, send us these three jailed activist members of rock band Pussy Riot, we’ll send you these three Gérard Depardieu ; Actress Brigitte Bardot; Singer Mireille Mathieu, all of whom are famous in Russia, and increasingly derided in their native France

On Sunday, the 63-year-old acting legend was greeted by local officials and women dressed in traditional Russian costumes.


Already apparently tired of Russian folklore, Gégé was seen Monday attending the Golden Ball award ceremony in Zurich for the world's best soccer player (Argentina's Lionel Messi) in the company of FIFA boss Sepp Blatter.

Ödül töreni öncesi Sepp Blatter ve Gerard Depardieu twitpic.com/btbmwl

— footbaLLove (@footbaLLove) January 7, 2013

From Comedian To Puppet

Then on Tuesday, French media was eagerly awaiting Depardieu at a French civil courtroom to face a drunk-driving charge after he'd crashed his scooter in November in Paris while driving with three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. But the high-rolling Monsieur was a no-show, and according to the French newspaper Le Progrès, the case will now be sent to France’s criminal court.


Apparently, the Golden Globe recipient had a good excuse to miss his date with the French authorities: He’d flown from Switzerland to Montenegro, where he’s preparing for his next role as one of France’s most scandalous figures of late… that of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, France’s Le Point reports.

Well, as they say in France...WTF!

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why Poland's Break With Ukraine Weakens All Enemies Of Russia — Starting With Poland

Poland’s decision to stop sending weapons to Ukraine is being driven by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's short-term electoral calculus. Yet the long-term effects on the world stage could deeply undermine the united NATO front against Russia, and the entire Western coalition.

Photo of ​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Bartosz T. Wieliński


WARSAW — Poland has now moved from being the country that was most loudly demanding that arms be sent to Ukraine, to a country that has suddenly announced it was withholding military aid. Even if Poland's actions won't match Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s words, the government has damaged the standing of our country in the region, and in NATO.

“We are no longer providing arms to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland,” the prime minister declared on Polsat news on Wednesday evening. He didn’t specify which type of arms he was referring to, but his statement was quickly spread on social media by leading figures of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

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When news that Poland would be withholding arms to Ukraine made their way to the headlines of the most important international media outlets, no politician from PiS stepped in to refute the prime minister’s statement. Which means that Morawiecki said exactly what he meant to say.

The era of tight Polish-Ukrainian collaboration, militarily and politically, has thus come to an end.

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