Artists and Intellectuals Write Open Letter to Putin

Remember back when a group of artists demanded that Putin remain in office, claiming to represent the entire cultural community? Here comes the blowback. Echo Moskvy, the last free voice on Russia’s airwaves, reported the following at 22:03 on 25 October 2007:

Russian cultural figures are indignant at an appeal to the president of the RF with a request that he remain for a third term written in their name. They have expressed their position in an open letter to Vladimir Putin, which has come into the possession of the radio station «Echo Moskvy». “Nobody gave Nikita Mikhalkov, Zurab Tsereteli, and the others who signed this appeal the right to represent the entire community of cultural figures”, is noted in the letter. “That they have allowed themselves this is a revolting fact, and indeed just indecent such an appeal casts a shadow not only on those who signed it, but also on you as the president, during the years of whose rule many manifestations of the cult of any Kremlin potentate, so characteristic of soviet times, have unfortunately been restored”, the authors of the letter declared. “But what is more important is that very many people of science and art, and we among them, are convinced that you should not remain head of state under any pretext at all, should not build up devious combinations for the sake of this – this demeans Russia and its citizens.” Among those signing the letter are literary historian Marietta Chudakova, the actors Oleg Basilashvili and Sergey Yursky, the artist Yuri Avvakumov, and the dramatist Alexander Gelman. The gathering of signatures under the appeal continues.

This is also coverage of this story in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada.