The legality of the move was questionable, and the absurdity was patent.
Depardieu, it was claimed, was trying to flee French taxes in favor of Russia’s 13 percent flat income tax. But to qualify to pay taxes at the Russian rate, he would have to stay in Russia 183 days out of every year. There is no polite way to say it: that seems just too high a price to pay for the savings of a few hundred thousand euros. LINK
This time, Depardieu boarded a plane in Sochi to fly to Saransk, capital of the Russian republic of Mordovia. There, Governor Vladimir Volkov offered the newly Russian movie star an apartment or a piece of land of his choosing to make his home. He also offered him the post of Mordovia’s minister of culture.
— another French star, Brigitte Bardot, had decided to ask for Russian citizenship. Her conflict with the French authorities stemmed not from taxes but rather from the fate of two elephants, sick with tuberculosis, and due to be euthanized at the Lyon zoo. If the sentence was carried out, said Bardot, she would move to Russia. She did not explain how this would help the elephants, but she did tell journalists that President Vladimir Putin had done more for animal protection than all French presidents put together.