The band have stayed quiet about the exile until now. Speaking with Metal Hammer, Nergal opened up on why he thought the band was kicked out:
"Russia definitely was an important in our… in ['The Satanist'] album cycle and also in the band's career, because, after completing four successful tours in Russia, we did one uncompleted and not very successful tour in Russia, which was the 'Russian Satanist Tour'," he said.
"We managed to play four shows out of thirteen shows, and there were so many forces struggling us and trying to stop us on our way to finish the tour that we had to give up, basically, when they put us behind bars and literally forced us to leave the country. We couldn't hit that wall anymore, so we just gave up and came back to Poland, and we actually got banned for five years to enter Russia. But it was also a very important moment in the album cycle."
He continued: "I'm cooled down now and more relaxed about it, so I'm not as annoyed and infuriated as I was back then. But, yeah, let's just wait for better times there, because I, honestly, love the people there. And it's good crowds and it's amazing people. I love Russians. It's just the little fact that they have an idiot as a leader of the country. But then, things don't last forever, so we should just wait for better times and eventually we're gonna make it back there even bigger than so far."
Needless to say, I don't imagine Behemoth coming back to the country any time soon unless there is a regime change. It's safe to assume, though, that the "idiot leader" Nergal was talking about was of course current Russian Vladimir Putin. Perhaps it was a conscious decision not to mention him by name. Putin does know kung fu, after all.