“It was one of those surreal moments when light entertainment mugs history. Vladimir Putin crooned the song ‘Blueberry Hill at a children’s charity benefit in St Petersburg in 2010, as a crowd of celebrities — including Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Gérard Depardieu, Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci – clapped along like they were in kindergarten.

“When the politician reeled off the opening line — ‘I found my thrill’ — thoughts of the Georgian invasion or the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko didn’t seem to be urgently popping into anyone’s head. Knowing what we know now, the spectacle plays more like Dr. Evil’s rendition of ‘Just the Two of Us’ but far less funny.” — from “Putin’s Hollywood pals – the stars who snuggled up to the Russian dictator,” a 3.7.22 Guardian piece by Phil Hoad.