A number of prominent Russian musicians and other cultural figures have come together to sign an appeal that calls upon Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine. Among the signatories are violinist Vladimir Spivakov, Bolshoi Theatre General Director Vladimir Urin, and the Artistic Director of St Petersburg's Alexandrinsky Theatre Valery Folkin.
"We act now not only as cultural figures, but as ordinary people, citizens of our country, our Motherland," the letter reads. "Among us are children and grandchildren of those who fought in the Great Patriotic War, witnesses and participants in that war."
"The past XXth century has brought too much grief and suffering to humanity. We want to believe that the twenty-first century will be a century of hope, of openness and dialogue, a century of human to human conversation, a century of love, compassion and mercy. We call on all those on whom it depends, all parties to the conflict, to stop the hostilities, and to come to the negotiating table," the appeal continues.
Other signatories of the letter include Oleg Basilashvili, Mikhail Bychkov, Igor Zolotovitskyi, Igor Kostolevsky, Dmitry Krymov, Evgeny Mironov, Andrei Moguchy, Eugene Pirsarev, Konstantin Raikin, Maria Revyakina, Victor Ryzhakov, Yuri Rost, Nina Usatova, and Alyssa Freindlich.
Several other musicians have also joined the ranks of prominent Russians who are publicly condemning Putin's actions. The Moscow-born pianist Evgeny Kissin recently took to social media, where he released a statement in Russian warning that even those war criminals who do not receive adequate retribution in their own eras will nonetheless be condemned by history. Kissin holds both British and Israeli citizenship and currently resides in Prague.
"War is always woe, tears, blood, and the death of thousands, if not millions, of people," Kissin begins.
"Once upon a time, as we all know, the Nazi criminals who began war in Europe ended their disgraceful lives at the gallows or in jail following the Nuremberg trials. Those who began war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s ended up on trial at the International Court of Justice at the Hague, and suffered penalties according to its judgement."
"Sadly, far from all who initiate criminal wars are punished, but none escape the judgement of history. In the memories of generations to come they will always remain as they are now: bloodthirsty criminals."
You can watch Kissin's statement in its entirety below.
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