New East Digital Archive

Russian cultural figures pledge support for military presence in Ukraine

Russian cultural figures pledge support for military presence in Ukraine
Photograph: Quincena Musical under a CC licence

12 March 2014
Text Nadia Beard

Prominent members of the world of culture in Russia have signed a statement affirming their solidarity with President Putin’s policies in regard to the unfolding situation in Ukraine. Many of the signatories, who include actors, directors, artists and musicians are noted supporters of President Putin and the United Russia party. The statement comes days after Kino Soyuz, a film union known for its independent political views, published an open letter to their Ukrainian counterparts pledging their solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The 85 signatories of today’s statement include actor and artistic director of the Moscow Art Theatre Oleg Tabakov, director of recent hit Stalingrad Fedor Bondarchuk and conductor Valery Gergiev. The letter is entitled “Russia’s cultural figures – in support of the President’s position in Ukraine and Crimea”.

Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine has been divisive in Russia’s culture and art world, with many high-profile artists and musicians publically declaring their support for the Russian or Ukrainian position.

Referring to the Ukrainian people, the statement reads: “Our shared history and roots, our culture and spiritual origins, our fundamental values and language will unite us forever. We want to see the commonality of our peoples and our culture have a solid future. That is why we firmly reiterate our support of the position of the President of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and Crimea.”