Ukrainian media are abuzz with the news that French actor Gerard Depardieu announced he is leaving the Russian Federation. Depardieu, who received Russian citizenship in 2013 allegedly made this announcement in an interview with the French television station Canal+.

“If I should ever miss this life, I can always live in my barn for a few days” Depardieu allegedly said.

Initially this story appeared on the site Neskuchnye novosti on March 12, it was immediately reprinted by Patrioty Ukrainy and Rusjev.net. The next day Ukrainskye Novosti, Podrobnosti, 24 Kanal, Depo, Infokava.com, Ink.inforesist and others followed suit.

Website screenshot neskuchno-news.com

Website screenshot neskuchno-news.com

Depardieu lascia la russia

Website screenshot 24tv.ua

Website screenshot podrobnosti.ua

Website screenshot podrobnosti.ua

There is no trace of this interview on the Canal+ web site, nor is there any Depardieu video on the station’s YouTube channel. A thorough web search failed to turn up any trace of this story.

Depardieu was much admired in Ukraine, however, after the actor moved to Russia his popularity waned. When the actor voiced support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, he was banned from entering Ukraine for five years along with over 100 entertainment figures who supported Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula.