A ballet dancer in Russia, originally from East Yorkshire, says he chose to leave the country amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Xander Parish issued a statement to his supporters on Sunday evening informing them of his intention to leave “at least until peace comes”.
The performer, originally from North Ferriby, is currently performing in a production of Giselle at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg.
For more information on the situation in Ukraine, click here
Xander described his sadness at the development of the situation, which has seen a mass exodus of Ukrainian citizens in recent days.
Some 1.7 million citizens are estimated to have fled the country since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade the country.
Refugees mainly cross to neighboring countries, including Hungary, Poland and Romania. Dozens of refugees have also arrived in the UK in recent days.
“[D]Due to the terrible crisis, I made the difficult decision to leave Russia,” Xander wrote on his Facebook page.
“[A]at least until peace comes. My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people, near and far.”
Xander has been a ballet dancer since childhood, auditioning for the White Lodge Ballet School at the age of 10 and finally being offered a place at the Royal Ballet at 18.
He joined the Mariisnky Ballet of Russia in 2010.
“I am so grateful to the Mariinsky Theater which, thanks to Yuri Fateev, welcomed me 12 years ago and gave me a career in classical ballet that I could only have dreamed of,” added Xander.
“I am grateful to the wonderful ordinary Russian citizens, the majority of whom have treated me so kindly.
“I pray for peace to come and for the wounds to be healed by the grace of God.
He continued, “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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