The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Mikhail Baryshnikov on Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Choosing "a Russia of Pushkin" over "a Russia of Putin"


From, founded by Baryshnikov, prominent Russian writer Boris Akunin, and economist Sergey Guriev (all expats):

The "Russian Federation," which has been taken over by a dictator, has unleashed a criminal war.

This is a blow to all of us who belong to the Russian culture and who speak Russian. The very word "Russian" has become, in the world's eyes, toxic.

But a thousand times worse is what is happening to our close kin, the Ukrainian people. Before our eyes a true humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. Many hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have lost everything: their homes, their livelihoods, their property.

And the number of refugees will grow, the situation will only get worse. Most of us are far from where this is happening, many very far. We have no power to end this nightmare. But we cannot, we do not want to, we do not have the right to do nothing. The least that we can do is to help people who are fleeing the Russian—no, the Putin—army.

Let all of us in the Russian world help Ukrainian refugees.

The dictator is waging war not only on Ukraine, but also on his own country, denying it its future, stamping out and destroying all that is living, replacing it everywhere with death. But the true Russia, is bigger, stronger, and longer lasting than Putin's "RFia." It lives and will remain living.

Let us prove this to ourselves and to the whole world. Please, contribute to help Ukrainian refugees.

Russians of all countries, unite against the war!

The "There is a Russia of dictatorship, and there is a Russia of culture, a Russia of Putin and a Russia of Pushkin" quote is from Baryshnikov in a Vanity Fair article. I learned of the project through a video by Andrey Makarevich, a prominent anti-war Russian singer.

You can contribute here; the funds will go through the UK-based Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). I asked DEC whether they have a US-tax-deductible affiliate, but they told me no; I also have a query in to TrueRussia. TrueRussia's appeal has apparently raised over $1M at this point.