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Russia Going After US Band for Flag Stunt

Member of Bloodhound Gang shoved it in pants; criminal investigation follows

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2013 8:53 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Edward Snowden hasn't done great things for US-Russia relations. Now meet the Bloodhound Gang. The American rock band was performing in Ukraine last week when bassist Jared Hasselhoff grabbed a Russian flag thrown from the audience, shoved it down the front of his pants, and pulled it out again from the rear. "Don't tell Putin," he joked before the stunt. Result: The video blew up in Russia, and the government has launched a criminal investigation into desecrating the flag, reports Ria Novosti.

The band cut short its tour and returned to the US over the weekend, with conflicting reports on whether it was deported or left voluntarily, reports CNN. Their van got pelted with eggs on the way to airport, and once inside, Russian nationalists roughed up band members and stomped on a US flag. (That video also is making the rounds.) Hasselhoff later apologized and said he wasn't making a serious political statement, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The band might not get a ton of sympathy from Americans, given band leader Jimmy Pop's statement on stage after the flag gag. "Russia is better than America, so I disapproved of that," he said.

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