Russian & Ukrainian Celebrities Speak Out Against Russian Invasion Of Ukraine
After the invasion into Ukraine by Russia began yesterday after weeks of uncertainty, scores of notable people of Russian and Ukrainian heritage have spoken out against the conflict. Some are ex-pats who voiced support for their former home country, and others are currently in Ukraine and providing a direct look into the situation.
The invasion has swiftly been decried from many around the world, even within Russia as over 1,800 protestors demonstrating against the attack were arrested by Thursday night. Even Russians were stunned to hear that their President Vladimir Putin had begun the operation, and there were protests in over 50 Russian cities on Thursday.
Several celebrities within Russia, including talk show host Ivan Urgant, and children of prominent Kremlin politicians Dmitry Peskov and Boris Yeltsin, posted similar images of a mostly-black screen and the Russian phrase for “No To War.” Urgant’s show was aired on a state-run network, and some suspect he has since been blacklisted by the government as no episodes have aired since his post.
Singer Regina Spektor, who was born in Moscow and moved to New York at the age of nine, wrote a lengthy Instagram post about the ongoing crisis. She wrote, “There were, and still are, real Nazis in the world. But in Ukraine [there] are just millions of civilians being pulled into a war, and in Russia there are children being sent to fight and die for no reason.”
Ukrainian singer and winner of the 2016 Eurovision song contest Jamala joined calls for peace in an Instagram video with her young children in frame. “Please support Ukraine, stop Russian aggression,” she said in the video after her children talked over most of the beginning of her message.
A professional coach from Dancing With The Stars and native Ukrainian, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, has been stuck in Kyiv since the invasion started because he was in Ukraine to judge World Of Dance. In several videos uploaded to Instagram, Chmerkovskiy spoke in downtown Kyiv with air raid sirens playing in the background. He pleaded to Russians, saying “Your leadership is rotten, and they’re lying to you,” and added, “if everybody out there thinks Ukraine is doing it to itself, you’re f––king misinformed.”
He also wrote poignantly in one video’s caption about how it felt being around conflict when his family moved to the U.S. from Ukraine to avoid war when he was young. He said, “I will never be the same. This is stressful and I’m getting old feelings back, like I’ve done this before. This does feel like the way it was when and why we left in the 90s. Like my old PTSD I finally fixed is coming back.”
Actors who voiced their support for Ukraine included Vera Farmiga, an American actress with Ukrainian parents, who shared a photo of the country flag and another post that pointed people towards a list of ways to support those in need. Katheryn Winnick from Vikings has also been sharing photos in support of Ukraine.