Ukraine: Russian actor refused entry at border

26 July 2018
Russian actor Anton Makarsky has been banned from entering Ukraine for three years because he previously visited Crimea.
Photo: Anton Makarsky / Instagram


Russian actor Anton Makarsky has been banned from entering Ukraine for three years because he previously visited Crimea, a contested area since the Russia-Ukraine conflict began in 2014, reported RBC on 11 July 2018.

The State Border Service of Ukraine said the film and theatre actor tried to enter the country on 10 July at a checkpoint on the border with Moldova.

It determined Makarsky had “illegally” visited Crimea in 2015 to film a TV series. He was turned back and denied entry into Ukraine for three years.

In its statement the border service said about 130 foreigners, including figures of culture and art, who travelled to Crimea have been banned from entering Ukraine.

Artists caught in the conflict
The Russia-Ukraine conflict began in 2014. Artists who have performed, or plan to perform, in Crimea, or who are seen as sympathetic to either side’s position have seen their works and performances banned from being heard, screened or attended in either country.

Such artists include Russian singer Yulia Samoylova, who was due to represent her country at the 2017 Eurovision Festival 2017 in Kiev, but was banned from entering the host country. Ukraine’s Security Service stated her entry was denied because she had performed in Crimea in 2015.

Read more about her case in Freemuse’s State of Artistic Freedom 2018 report here.

The conflict has even affected artists from other countries when they planned to perform in Crimea. In January 2016, Italian opera singer Alessandro Safina cancelled two scheduled concerts in Crimea after the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture threatened to cancel his shows in Ukraine. Cultural minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko said: “Those who violate the regime of entry and exit from Crimea automatically fall under sanctions. Organisers must have forgotten to notify the singer about it.”

Actors Steven Seagal and Gerard Depardieu were previously banned from entering Ukraine for five years after they each received Russian citizenship, reported The Telegraph.

Legislation changes
In April 2016, Ukraine banned all Russian films and TV series released since 2014 from being screened in the country, as an amendment to its 2015 Law on Cinematography that already banned Russian military genre films.

Over 500 films produced in Russia were banned from being broadcast and distributed in Ukraine between 2014 and 2017.

Also in early 2016, Ukraine’s National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting removed 15 Russian TV channels from its broadcasting providers.

In October 2016, the parliament of Ukraine voted against a bill that would have restricted all Russian artists who wanted to tour in the country by only allowing them in if they submitted a written condemnation of “the occupation of Ukrainian territory” to promoters.

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