Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst announced the band will play in Donetsk and Luhansk, two areas in war-torn east Ukraine. In early September, the singer stated he wanted to gain Russian citizenship as well.
Durst told Russian publication Izvestia that the administrations of Donetsk and Luhansk, which voted to be independent from Ukraine, “appealed” to the band to perform in the cities.
“We agreed,” he said.
Now his team is attempting to fit the cities into their schedule. The band will play in Russia from October 25-November 27.
On September 1, Durst announced he wanted Russian citizenship.
“I wouldn’t mind getting a Russian passport!” he said during an interview. “If you have communication with the relevant authorities, which would assist with obtaining it, – share! How Russia is portrayed in the media is far from reality, and I want to prove to everyone, that it’s really cool!”
A few weeks later, Crimean head Sergey Aksenov invited numerous celebrities to the Black Sea peninsula. He promised them he would “welcome the creation there of a counterpart to the US [sic] iconic Beverly Hills.” Durst is one celebrity to consider the invitation.
Durst said he wants “to make films and TV series in Crimea and other TV products that will be famous around the world.” His plans would reportedly “bring Russia to a very high level in his business.” From Russian new agency TASS:
The American also plans to help organize a film festival in Crimea and launch a cinema studio. He also seeks to participate in events initiated by the republic’s authorities and help the world better understand Crimea and Russia.
The musician said he wants to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We have many areas with beautiful nature so I’m sure he’ll find a place to settle down that would suit his tastes,” said Dmitry Polonsky, Chairman of the Counsil of Ministers of Crimea.
He continued: “They sense that today justice comes Russia [sic] which upholds the principles of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of artistic expression. Obviously, these people want to live where they are free and comfortable.”
Russia has escalated a wave of censorship since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in March 2014 after Parliament ousted Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. The majority of the international community does not recognize the annexation or the elections east Ukraine held to declare independence from Kyiv.
Putin has consistently punished anyone who dared to question or disagree with his actions. The Kremlin has shut down critical websites Grani.ru, Kasparov.ru, and Yezhednevny Zhurnal. On March 12, 2014, Lenta.ru’s chief editor Galina Timchenko resigned, but employees said she was fired because she defied the Kremlin and published an interview that quoted the Right Sector Party’s leader. Moscow has identified the group as extremist and a threat to Russia. The next day, many employees resigned in protest of her firing and censorship efforts from Moscow. Kommersant reporter Anastasia Karimova posted her resignation letter on Facebook and Instagram. She left because of censorship and said there is no acceptable work in Moscow for journalists. Despite Moscow’s explanations, many know it is because of tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned on air over censorship and the network’s backing of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Three Norwegian journalists were detained at a Crimea checkpoint and gunmen confiscated their equipment and protective gear. Interfax-Ukraine reported Ukrainian television stations were not working in Crimea, but Russian stations worked perfectly fine.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s website was also shut down as the government continues to investigate him for alleged fraud. A gunman murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in February, as he planned to publish a report about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.
Durst married Ukrainian makeup artist Kseniya Beryazina, who was born in Crimea, three years ago.