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Ukraine has banned US action star Steven Seagal from entering the country. Why?

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The 65-year-old movie tough-guy has been forbidden entry for five years for being a national security threat – after he took up Russian citizenship.

The Security Office released a statement saying a person is banned when they have “committed socially dangerous actions … that contradict the interests of maintaining Ukraine’s security”.

Seagal, who had Russian grandparents, is an open supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally made him a citizen last year.

Seagal had already been declared ‘persona non grata’ along with 600 other people by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture in 2014 after his band played at a concert in Crimea that was hosted by a pro-Putin biker club.

The two countries have been at odds since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

But Mr Seagal is not the first celebrity to be blacklisted by the former Soviet nation. In 2015, French actor Gerard Depardieu – who became a Russian citizen in 2013 – was barred along with the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

That said, we’d probably deny them entry too.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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