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Depardieu was granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin and many believe the actor is trying to escape high taxes in France.
However, Depardieu denies the rumours and has also applied for Belgium citizenship.
The actor is increasingly popular in Russia and was one of the best-known foreign actors in the USSR.
In the 1980’s the entire population of the Soviet Union watched his films – La Chèvre, ComDads and Les Fugitifs.
In 2011, Depardieu starred in the Franco-Russian film Rasputin, where he played the lead role.
He also appears in several Russian commercials, advertising ketchup and Sovietsky Bank (he is even featured on the banks homepage).
While visiting the Republic of Mordovia the actor received a warm welcome, met by the women in national dresses and served with traditional Russian pancakes.
In the Republic’s major city Saransk Depardieu asked to see a monument to Yemelyan Pugachev, leader of the peasant rebellion movement in 18-century Russia and said he had always dreamed to play in a film.