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U.S. band Bloodhound Gang barred from Russian gig over flag stunt

MOSCOW (Reuters) - American rock group Bloodhound Gang has been barred from a music festival in Russia, the Russian Culture Minister said, after a band member shoved the country's flag into his underpants during a gig.

The incident took place when the band, famous for its sexually explicit songs and on-stage antics, played a concert in Ukraine. On a video, posted on YouTube, bassist Jared Hasselhoff is seen pushing the Russian white-blue-red tricolour into the front of his pants and then pulling it out of the back.

"Don't tell Putin!" he said to the applause of the audience in the city of Odessa on Wednesday.

Moscow reacted angrily, barring the band from performing at a festival in the Krasnodar Black Sea region, also known as Kuban. The event, held on August 1-7, is expected to feature bands including The Prodigy, Guano Apes and Scooter.

"I spoke to the Krasnodar region authorities. Bloodhound Gang is packing their suitcases. These idiots will not perform in Kuban," Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said on Twitter on Friday.

The incident happened against the background of a deepening rift in relations between Russia and the United States including the furor over the U.S. fugitive spy agency contractor Edward Snowden who was granted asylum by Moscow this week.

Bloodhound Gang, famous for their provocative songs such as "You're Pretty When I'm Drunk," "I Wish I Was Queer So I Could Get Chicks" and "Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny?", apologized for the flag incident, according to local press.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Pravin Char)

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