War in Ukraine brings Russian migrants to Finland to protest Putin

War in Ukraine brings Russian migrants to Finland to protest Putin

  • Many Russian artists have long been threatened with persecution for failing to support official positions, but their criticisms of the war put them at risk of imprisonment.
  • Many artists said they also worried about the integrity of their work in President Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which has increasingly cracked down on free speech and expression.
  • Many performers in Russia work for theaters fully or partially funded by the Russian state, which makes them particularly vulnerable to censorship.

KOTKA, Finland — Two days after Russia invaded Ukraine, 35-year-old bearded and distraught Ivan Nikolaev posted a video on YouTube, slamming President Vladimir Putin for the attack.

“Innocent Ukrainian citizens are being murdered as Russia continues to occupy an independent Ukrainian state,” Nikolaev said. “As Russian citizens, we are all implicated in this military crime.”

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