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Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Backs Russian Takeover Of Crimea, Causing Backlash

Roger Waters, co-founder of the rock group Pink Floyd, paints graffiti on a visit to Israel.
Roger Waters, co-founder of the rock group Pink Floyd, paints graffiti on a visit to Israel.

The co-founder of the rock band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, has expressed support for Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, causing a backlash in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian nongovernmental organization Myrotvorets (Peacemaker), which aims to inform local law enforcers about foreign citizens who allegedly commit crimes against Ukraine, put Waters on its unofficial blacklist late on August 27.

The group is accusing Rogers of engaging in anti-Ukrainian propaganda, violating Ukraine's territorial integrity, and attempting to justify the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Ukrainian authorities have not responded to the British rock musician's statements.

In an interview published by the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia, Waters defended the annexation, saying that "many agreements and other papers" exist that prove Russia's claims for Sevastopol, a major military port in Crimea.

He went on to say that Moscow's actions were "provoked" by the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych by street protests in 2014, which he claimed were orchestrated by Washington.

Waters' statements echo the Kremlin's rhetoric justifying the takeover of Crimea, and have enraged many people in Ukraine.

Since Russia seized Crimea, a number of international entertainment personalities have ended up on Peacemaker's blacklist. In some cases, Ukrainian authorities also take action, banning entertainers who have publicly supported the annexation from entering the country.

Those targeted with bans include French actor Gerard Depardieu and Serbian filmmaker and musician Emir Kusturica.

Waters performed in St. Petersburg on August 29 and is scheduled to do so in Moscow on August 31. His band has already performed in Moscow twice, in 2006 and 2011.

Based on reporting by Billboard Magazine and Interfax

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