These Russian celebs have abandoned their homeland in protest of Ukraine war
Since the invasion of Ukraine, some stars from Russia have up and left their home country. Popstar Alla Pugacheva, for example, is building a new life in Israel with her comedian husband Maxim Galkin. Things must be bad if you are moving to a country that has (an often violent) conflict of its own going on.
Talk show host Ivan Urgant (right), a top star in Russian entertainment TV, is also in Israel, according to a tweet by NEXTA_TV. He is an actor, musician and producer. His best known roles in film are Boris in the 'Yolki' series and as Danila in 'Lucky Trouble'.
Rock star Zemfira and her close friend, actress Renata Litvinova, are in Paris. Zemfira released an anti-war music video amid her country's invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Photo: Denhud / Wikimedia
Kirill Serebrennikov is one of Russia's leading theatre and cinema directors and winner of numerous international awards. He has been spotted in Paris and Berlin. Despite numerous run-ins with the authorities and two years under house arrest Kirill Serebrennikov initially stayed in Russia – until the invasion of Ukraine.
Writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya is now giving interviews in her Berlin apartment. The 79-year-old left her home country unsure if she would ever return. According to DW, she said, "I am doing well — even if leaving the country means that I now have to learn to live under completely different circumstances. Somehow it is a rebirth into a new life."
Influential video blogger and filmmaker Yuri Dud now works from Istanbul. He found himself on the Russian Justice Ministry’s ever-growing list of so-called ‘foreign agents’. They had added eight other people to the list, along with Mr Dud, one of the country’s most popular YouTubers.
Photo: @вДудь / YouTube
Prima ballerina Olga Smirnova of the Bolshoi Theater has a new job in Amsterdam. The BBC news reported star said she was "against this war with every fibre of my soul." She also had family ties to those affected: her grandfather was Ukrainian.
Kantemir Balagov, an acclaimed filmmaker twice nominated at the Academy Awards, has been seen in Georgia where Russian passport holders can stay for up to a year without a visa. The 31 year-old's best-known works are the films 'Closeness' and 'Beanpole'.
Yet another new arrival in Georgia was filmmaker Kira Kovalenko, who won the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
Singer Monetochka left Russia for Lithuania. Together with rapper Noize MC, she has been staging concerts in many European cities and donating the proceeds to the charity fund Siepomaga, which provides aid to Ukrainian refugees.
Now safely in Lithuania after being smuggled in with documents on the hush, P*ssy Riot leader Maria Alyokhina escaped Moscow dressed as food courier to get past the police who were raiding her friend's home. She was about to be sent to a penal colony after protesting the war in Ukraine. She has joined her girlfriend and fellow P*ssy Riot member Lucy Shtein in exile.
Chulpan Khamatova, actress and founder of the 'Podari Zhizn' (Gift a Life) Foundation Chulpan also left after fearing she might go to jail, per US Renew News. In an interview with journalist Ekaterina Gordeeva, Khamatova spoke of the new criminal code with regard to “discrediting” the army. She was scared to get put behind bars after stating the Russian military "force black to be called white."
Rapper Face, AKA Ivan Dryomin, is a Russian rap star whose songs are often rather explicit, which, as one can imagine, doesn't sit well with the conservative authorities in Russia. He had his concerts cancelled and then retired because he'd called Russia a 'Third World Country'. He's now on the naughty list and will face arrest in Russia if he returns from his new country, Poland. Currently living in Poland, he performs and collects funds for Ukrainian refugees, even apologizing to them for Russian actions.
According to the Mirror, Lilia Gildeyeva handed in her resignation letter to Gazprom-Media's NTV channel where she’d worked for 15 years and then fled the country. She's still receiving threats and abuse. In an interview with blogger Ilya Varlamov, the TV anchor said: "At first I left, I was afraid they wouldn't let me go, then I wrote my resignation letter."
Andrei Loshak is a famous Russian investigative journalist. Loshak didn't want to get caught in Russia after fear of a new martial law making it impossible to leave the country. So, he got on a plane to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
Renowned Literary Critic, Galina Yuzefovich said that the people leaving are only the ones who are able to. Being able to feel is a 'privilege,' she said, adding that Russia was being abandoned mainly by those who could afford it. Yuzefovich expressed her sympathy for those who have to remain. She herself fled to southern Turkey with her family.
Photo: Instagram @Galinayuzefovich
Anton Dolin, a renowned critic and public figure, had previously stated that he would never leave Russia. But he changed his mind, the DW reports. He has been living in Latvia and is resolute in his opinion of his home country. He said: "I now consider my departure a form of personal surrender. Everything I did for three decades, a kind of cultural resistance to those in power, has now lost all meaning. My mission in life - to position Russia as a part of Europe - seems to have failed."
Photo: Instagram @critic-dolin