Dépardieu sings Putin's praises, saying he has 'political wisdom'
French actor Gérard Dépardieu, recently awarded Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin, has praised the former KGB spy, saying his political opponents offer no real alternative.
Dépardieu, who has been accused in France of abandoning his homeland to avoid a proposed 75 per cent tax on millionaires, told state-run television that Mr Putin personified Russia’s complex and fascinating national character.
“I like this man very much, he is a very powerful political activist. He has political wisdom,” the actor said in comments televised yesterday.
The translation was dubbed over the original French, which the TV station said would not immediately be made available.
Mr Putin has been accused of suppressing dissent since his return to the presidency for a third term last May.
“The Russian opposition has no programme, nothing. There are very smart people there, like [former chess champion Garry] Kasparov, but what works well for chess is completely unsuited to politics,” Dépardieu said.