US rock group Bloodhound Gang has been banned from Russia and threatened with prosecution after footage emerged of a band member stuffing the Russian flag down his trousers.
The band, later beaten up by a Cossack mob while they waited to be deported, could face criminal charges in Russia for their onstage antics.
The group was barred from headlining the Kuban music festival in southern Russia after a video showed bass player Jared Hasselhoff shoving the flag down the front of his trousers and pulling it out the back. An online video, taken at a concert last Wednesday in Odessa, Ukraine, shows him telling the crowd: “I know what to do with the Russian flag,” and: “Don’t tell Putin.”
Vladimir Markin, of Russia’s Investigations Committee, said the agency was waiting to receive documents from prosecutors for opening a criminal investigation. He did not say whether the agency would investigate the mob that attacked Bloodhound Gang in Anapa airport. Online footage of the assault shows several men wearing t-shirts with the word “Cossack” punching and kicking the band.
Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky branded Bloodhound Gang “idiots” and said they were “packing their suitcases”.
Hasselhoff has since apologised and was quoted as saying that it was a band tradition for everything thrown on stage to be passed through his pants.