June 26, 2022


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Mikhail Baryshnikov on criticizing Vladimir Putin: "I will be seventy-five. What do I have to lose?"

Mikhail Baryshnikov on criticizing Vladimir Putin: “I will be seventy-five. What do I have to lose?”

World-renowned ballerina Mikhail Baryshnikov made international headlines when he defected from the Soviet Union in 1974. He has remained largely apolitical since then. Now, Baryshnikov told Anthony Mason in an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” He can no longer be silent about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The interview will be broadcast on June 19 on CBS and broadcast on Paramount+.

“I could not remain silent this time,” Baryshnikov said. “I was born in the USSR – at that time Soviet Latvia – in the family of a military officer.”

Most recently, Baryshnikov co-founded True Russia, a charity fundraising for Ukrainian refugees. When Russia blocked her website, Baryshnikov wrote an open letter to President Vladimir Putin. He wrote that Putin’s Russian world – the world of fear – “will die of his terror unless he wakes up.”

Below is an excerpt from Mason’s interview with Baryshnikov. To see a preview, click on the video player:

Mikhail Baryshnikov: Putin “does not care about people at all”


Mason: What do you think when Putin said that the Russians who support the West are the Russians? “scum and traitors”?

Baryshnikov: You know, that’s disgusting.

Mason: Do you think this is Russia’s war? Or Putin’s war?

Baryshnikov: It’s Putin’s war. … He is trying to create a new history of Russia. … he doesn’t care about people at all… although that’s possible, he has kids, you know? How is this possible?

Mason: The Russians who speak against him have a kind of disappearance.

Baryshnikov: Listen, I’ll be seventy-five years old. What do I have to lose?

Baryshnikov also spoke with Mason about the new production of “The Orchard” – his work at the New York Center that bears his name – and more.

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