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Russia Bans U.S. Rockers For Five Years Over Flag Stunt

Bloodhound Gang bass player Jared Hasselhoff apologized for the incident, but it was too late for Russian authorities.
Russian immigration officials have banned the five members of the U.S. rock band Bloodhound Gang from entering the country for the next five years.

Federal Migration Service chief Oleg Molodiyevsky announced on August 9 that the band had been barred from entering Russia after bass player Jared Hasselhoff pushed a Russian flag down his pants during a concert in the Ukrainian city of Odesa on July 31. "Don't tell [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," he told the crowd.

Hasselhoff has also been banned from entering Ukraine for five years on August 6 because he urinated on a Ukrainian flag during a July 30 concert in Kyiv.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said on August 7 that the actions by the Bloodhound Gang were "insulting and unacceptable."

On August 5, the Russian Interior Ministry opened a criminal case against Hasselhoff on charges of flag desecration.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AFP, and ITAR-TASS