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Russian entertainer says glad to be stripped of "honorary citizen" titles in Ukraine

Iosif Kobzon said Ukraine had turned into an appendage of the U.S
Iosif Kobzon ITAR-TASS
Iosif Kobzon

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Russian show biz long-timer Iosif Kobzon, whose career as a performer of songs of all genres started out in the early 1960’s and who has been a household name in all parts of the former Soviet Union for almost five decades, said on Wednesday he was glad to hear the reports that cities in his native Ukraine were revoking his title of an ‘honorary citizen’.

He said Ukraine had turned into an appendage of the U.S.

Earlier on Wednesday, the town hall in Kramatorsk, a heavily industrialized city in the part of Donbass currently controlled by pro-Kiev troops, stripped Kobzon of the ‘freedom of the city’ status.

"I’m really glad I’m being stripped of titles in the Ukraine that isn’t mine anymore, that has turned into an appendage of America," he said. "First I was denied the right to enter the territory of the U.S. and now I’m losing freedom of the town status in different cities in Ukraine."

"I don’t want to be an honorary citizen anyplace in a country ruled by the likes of Kolomoisky," Kobzon said. Igor Kolomoisky is an oligarch and a highly controversial governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region.

Iosif Kobzon has freedom of the city status in Donetsk, Slavyansk, Makeyevka, Artyomovsk, Gorlovka and other urban centers in the Donetsk region, which is his native land - he was born there in 1937 in the town of Chasov Yar. A monument in his honor has been installed in Donetsk.

Somewhat earlier, Kobzon’s honorary citizen’s status was revokes in Poltava and Dnepropetrovsk. Also, deputies of the city hall in Dnepropetrovsk passed a decision saying Kobzon would no longer be the performer of its official anthem.