Finnish Violinist and Conductor Writes Open Letter to Artists That Support Putin’s Actions

Open letter from Dalia Stasevska, violinist and conductor



On 11th of March, on the internet page of Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, a controversial statement signed by Valery Gergiev, Yuri Bashmet, Denis Matsuev and 508 additional Russian artists was published. Many famous musicians and other representatives of Russian artists’ community thus announced their direct “support for the position of President of the Russian Federation regarding Ukraine and Crimea”. Because of this, I am directly forced to announce my shock, dismay and disagreement with that particular statement.

Dmitri Shostakovich is widely known as something of an archetype about artist’s ambivalent role in a dictatorship. Although he publicly supported the politics of Stalin’s regime, he later claimed having encountered ‘inner resistance’ against the system all those years. Is this the role of you have taken too, Mr. Gergiev and other signatories? Or is your statement only sheer opportunism? Because I can’t find any reasonable justification for your “message”.

Dear Mr. Gergiev and signatories, you stated: “Our common history, our cultural roots and spiritual origins, our fundamental values and language have united us [Ukrainians and Russians] forever. We want to see the commonality of our peoples and our cultures have a strong future.” As far as I know, you should be very familiar with European musical and art tradition. You all have played and worked more than once with different people from different cultural backgrounds and minorities. Therefore, I am really surprised about your ignorance on the fundamental democratic European convictions in your statement. To remind you once again, the policy of “one nation, one empire, one ruler” has been entirely passé almost for the last 70 years. It makes me wonder how you, artists with diverse ethnic backgrounds – who are achieving your success in art and music only by peaceful work and communication with other nationalities – can support a regime that is drawing new geographical lines on a false pretext of “securing Russian people and language” and threatens to use civilians of neighbouring country as a human shield (Putin’s speech on 4th of May) in order to strengthen the suppressive power of Kremlin and by putting their own nation above the others; support authority that violates human rights and uses military aggression as its preferred tool? By signing this support statement, are you going to take the responsibility for the violent actions, carried out by the Russian forces, if they are targeted against your foreign colleagues?

Instead of supporting anti-humane and militant policies we, the musicians and artists, have the responsibility to fight for humanity. Our profession arises from a spiritual source inside us, making us compassionate and able to love everything living. There is so much beauty around us, that we can’t maybe sense clearly as often as necessary – maybe that is why we need an artists to remind us about basic human rights. I invite all the musicians and artists to use all their possible power to overcome the hatred and false emotions towards each other, to stop dictators, stop ignoring international law and its obligations as well not to resort to any further aggression towards Ukraine or any other peaceful country.

Dalia Stasevska
Helsinki 20.3.2014
Finnish-Ukrainian Conductor

Dalia Stasevska has conducted many of Finland’s orchestras, including the Finnish Radio Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta and in the Finnish National Opera. Forthcoming engagements will take her to the Finnish National Opera, Savonlinna Opera Festival and Davos Festival, Young Artists in Recidence. Since autumn 2009 she has been Artistic Director of the Kamarikesä (Chamber Music Summer) Festival in Helsinki.


More about Dalia Stasevska

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To Russian Officers – From a Ukrainian Officer

Voices of Ukraine


To Russian Officers – From a Ukrainian Officer

Source: Blog at Echo Moskvy
Translated by Voices of Ukraine

Long ago, back in 1988, I took an Oath to serve the Soviet People.

My grandfather and father were officers – one in the Red Army, the other in the Soviet Army.

Today, I’m a Ukrainian officer who took an Oath to serve the Ukrainian People. My tag bears my ID number, and above it, the letters still say ‘USSR Internal Troops’. I didn’t change my ID number, and I will keep it as long as I live.

Today, I am talking to you, senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, who have the right to send other people’s sons to die, while you remain in relative safety.

We, the Ukrainian people, are going through difficult and hungry times now, as we are recovering from the revolution while economic…

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Open letter of Ukrainian Jews to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin

Voices of Ukraine

To the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

Mr. President!

We are Jewish citizens of Ukraine: businessmen, managers, public figures, scientists and scholars, artists and musicians. We are addressing you on behalf of the multi-national people of Ukraine, Ukraine’s national minorities, and on behalf of the Jewish community.

You have stated that Russia wants to protect the rights of the Russian-speaking citizens of the Crimea and all of Ukraine and that these rights have been trampled by the current Ukrainian government. Historically, Ukrainian Jews are also mostly Russian-speaking. Thus, our opinion on what is happening carries no less weight than the opinion of those who advise and inform you.

We are convinced that you are not easily fooled. This means that you must be consciously picking and choosing lies and slander from the entire body of information on Ukraine. And you know very well that Victor Yanukovich’s statement…

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The Future of Ukraine – Open letter of world intellectuals

The future of Ukraine depends most of all on the Ukrainians themselves. They defended their democracy and future 10 years ago, during the Orange Revolution, and are standing up for those values again today. As Europeans grow disenchanted with the idea of a common Europe, people in Ukraine are fighting for that idea and for their country’s place in Europe. Defending Ukraine from the authoritarian temptations of its corrupt leaders is in the interests of the democratic world.

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We are not extremists! Open letter of the Ukrainian scholars, scientists, artists, doctors, lawyers, pedagogues and journalists to their fellow citizens and to the international community.

In the past several days, the protests of Ukrainians against the policies of the Ukrainian government have taken on a new quality. The peaceful demonstrations turned into a forceful confrontation between the protesters and the police. For the past six days, in the government quarter at the heart of Kyiv, on Hrushevskyi Street, genuine battles between the demonstrators and the police have been going on, with hundreds of wounded and several deaths.

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