Ballet dancer

British ballet dancer quits Russian ballet ‘until peace comes’ as country invades Ukraine

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British ballet dancer Xander Parish made the decision to leave Russia and the country’s prestigious Mariinsky Ballet amid the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Alex shared the news on Instagram on Sunday.

“Dear friends and followers, tonight I was supposed to play Giselle at the Mariinsky Theater but instead, due to the terrible crisis, I made the difficult decision to leave Russia, at least until the peace come”, Parish wrote.

“My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine, near and far, including @kate_chebykina pictured with me here in @jivoy_dance’s ‘I’m not Scared’. I’m so grateful to the Mariinsky Theater who, thanks to Yuri Fateev, welcomed me 12 years ago and gave me a career in classical ballet that I could only have dreamed of.”

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Xander Parish as Prince Siegfried with company artists in the Mariinsky Ballet’s production of Konstantin Sergevev’s revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivonov’s ‘Swan Lake’ at the Royal Opera House on July 27, 2017.
(Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty Images)

Parish continued to pray for peace in the region.

“I am grateful to the wonderful ordinary Russian citizens, the majority of whom have treated me so kindly,” he continued. “I pray for peace to come and for the wounds to be healed by the grace of God. Thank you to all of you who have messaged me over the past few days and sorry for not having had time to reply.”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Putin called the invasion a “special military mission”.

Parish revealed he was leaving Russia and the prestigious Mariinsky Ballet amid the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Parish revealed he was leaving Russia and the prestigious Mariinsky Ballet amid the Russian-Ukrainian war.
(Robbie Jack – Corbis/Getty Images for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 & The Royal Ballet)

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The invasion of Ukraine comes after Putin recognized breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. The war caused 1.7 million Ukrainians to flee the country.