Ballet dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov published an open letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin after Roskomnadzor blocked the website of True Russia, an activist organization he co-founded. “And our world will live on despite all your bans... You know what you fear. You know whose munition is precise,” wrote Baryshnikov. The project website was blocked for Russian users on May 24. Over its two months of existence, the organization raised more than a million pounds to help Ukrainian refugees.
The Insider quotes his letter in full:
Your cronies, seized by fear, ordered to ban our website — the website of TRUE RUSSIA. Their fear is so very predictable. This very fear, however, invests us with greater confidence in our chosen path.
In my childhood, the role of an occupant was imposed upon me, the son of a Russian officer in Latvia, yet it didn’t stick. I learned the Latvian language, and then, at the age of 26, rejected all of the roles that your thin-necked precursors tried to impose upon me. I rejected them forever. I have lived a free man of the free world for almost 50 years now — with no roles forced onto me by others, and with no fear. And people still consider me Russian, as they consider my friend Boris Akinun a Russian writer and Sergei Guriev a Russian economist.
People like us brought more honour to the Russian world than all your not-very-precise precision-guided munition. Your Russian world, the world of fear, the world in which they burn Ukrainian textbooks, will not live on as long as there are people like us — True Russians immunised from the disease of fear in our childhoods. And our world will live on despite all your bans.
We know how to keep the values of a true Russian world. And yours will die from its own horror unless it wakes up.
You know what you fear. You know whose munition is precise.