Russian Cultural Leaders Including Bolshoi Theatre’s General Director Petition Against War

By Francisco Salazar

Numerous Russian cultural leaders have signed a petition for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to stop the war.

In the letter, which was signed by the Bolshoi Theatre’s General Director Vladimir Urin and prominent conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov, leaders said, “We now speak not only as cultural figures, but as ordinary people, citizens of our country, our Homeland. Among us are the children and grandchildren of those who fought in the Great Patriotic War, witnesses and participants of that War.”

They added, “Each of us lives a genetic memory of war. We don’t want a new war, we don’t want people to die. The past 20th century has brought too much grief and suffering to humanity. We want to believe that the 21st century will become a century of hope, openness, dialogue, a century of human conversation, a century of love, compassion, and mercy. We call on everyone on whom it depends, all sides of the conflict, to stop the armed action, and to sit at the table for negotiations. We call for the preservation of the highest value – human life.”

The signatories of the letter include Oleg BASILASHVILI, Mikhail BYCHKOV, Igor Zolotovitskyi, Igor Kostolevsky, Dmitry Krymov, Evgeny Mironov, Andrei Moguchy, Eugene PISAREV, Konstantin RAIKIN, Maria REVYAKINA, Victor RYZHAKOV, Yuri ROST, Vladimir SPIVAKOV, Vladimir URIN, Nina USATOVA, Valery FOKIN, and Alyssa FREINDLICH.

The letter comes a day after the Metropolitan Opera broke ties with all Putin-supported artists and organizations and said that the new production of “Lohengrin” would likely be affected since it was a co-production with the Bolshoi Theatre. It also comes as the Bolshoi theatre’s contract with the Royal Opera House was canceled.