Passport

Ukraine to Fred Durst: You Chose Russia, and You Can’t Have Us Both

Ukraine has banned American musician Fred Durst from entering the country for five years.

READING, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit performs on Day 1 of The Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue on August 28, 2015 in Reading, England.  (Photo by Chiaki Nozu/Getty Images)
READING, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit performs on Day 1 of The Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue on August 28, 2015 in Reading, England. (Photo by Chiaki Nozu/Getty Images)

American singer Fred Durst loves Russia so much that a few months ago he told a Russian radio host he “wouldn’t mind getting a Russian passport.”

And Russia loves him back: In October, ahead of a lengthy tour across the country, Moscow’s Embassy in London tweeted that if Durst wanted to live in Crimea — a portion of Ukraine Moscow illegally annexed last year — he would be very welcome.

Now the rap-rock singer Americans love to hate is paying the price: Despite being married to a Ukrainian from the contested region, Kiev has reportedly banned him from entering the country for five years over state security concerns.

Those concerns likely have something to do with Durst’s willingness to dip his toes into the Crimea debate — and side with Russia. Moscow annexed the territory from Ukraine last year in a move that has not been recognized as legal by Kiev or the West. 

But it has most certainly been recognized by Durst. At a November show in the Russian city of Voronezh, he reportedly held up a sign that read “Crimea is Russia.”

Even so, Durst doesn’t seem too concerned that he has been banned from Ukraine. After all, his wife’s family has relocated to St. Petersburg.

In a dramatic post on Russian social media site vk.com, Durst rambled on about how he hates conflict and how humanity needs to work toward saving itself. And he claimed that he never said he would like to live in Crimea and that he actually declined offers to move there.

“I actually feel sad that not only are their facts completely wrong, but they are wasting so much time and energy focusing on things that do not matter when they can clearly be attending to other more serious matters,” he wrote in English.

Durst added that his performances “are a MUSICAL experience. Not a political campaign.”

“Maybe that is news to some of you,” he wrote, calling the individual in the Ukrainian government who decided to block him “ignorant.”

Then again, he may be so ignorant of world affairs that it’s even news to him.

Photo credit: Chiaki Nozu/Getty Images

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola