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Polish Metal Titans Behemoth Face Deportation in Russia

Behemoth, Russia, deportation, metal

Behemoth must be too much for Russia. The Polish metal giants, whose February album The Satanist we described as the band’s “sinister, thrilling apex,” wrote on Facebook last night they had been detained by Russian immigration officials. Now, a Russian-language opinion and news site critical of the local administration, reports that a judge has released the band and ordered them to leave the country under their own supervision.

Behemoth spent the night under arrest in Yekaterinburg, where they were forced to cancel their scheduled May 21 show. The deportation reportedly involves a discrepancy over visas: The band received “business” visas, as they say the Polish Embassy advised them to get, but Russia demands musicians obtain special “humanitarian” visas. The band told it will probably cancel the rest of its Russia tour, which was to have three more dates before Behemoth moves on to Kiev, Ukraine, on May 28.

The deportation comes amid a broader crackdown by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who recently annexed Crimea from Ukraine and has been imposing stricter controls over free speech. It also follows the ongoing protests against the Russian government by formerly imprisoned members of the punk-inspired activist group Pussy Riot. Watch a Russian-language report on Behemoth’s Russia troubles below.