Russia in revolt, 28 thousand flee and take citizenship in Israel. Among them artists and stars

One of the first to leave Russiaimmediately after the attack of theUkraine ordered by Vladimir Putin, had been a comedian who had become very popular in Italy in the last two years, Ivan Urgant, author and presenter, among other things, of two editions of an end-of-year program that hilariously mimicked our country’s TV . Urgant, together with his family, after a critical post on the war, left, initially in Israel.

Putin and the war in Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia, explosions in the night. The director of the plant: “Unacceptable”


But in Tel Aviv there are actually thousands of Russians who have fled: it is estimated, according to a service by NPR, the American public radio, that there are 28,000 who have applied for citizenship in Israel. Among them many intellectuals, artists, talents, dancers, writers, pop music stars, who have chosen to leave Russia since Putin asked his army to attack Ukraine. According to NPR, “some of Russia’s greatest artistic talents immigrated to Israel this year, finding a safe place to rebuild their careers and voice their conscience about their country’s war in Ukraine.”

The artist Victor Melamed is quoted, whose portraits appeared in the New Yorker magazine: “Staying behind the Iron Curtain was incredibly scary – he explained – I want to be a person of the world”. Other artists fled instead to Turkey, Kazakhstan and Georgia. Anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent, however, can easily obtain Israeli citizenship, which is why many have chosen Tel Aviv.


The Rolling Stones magazine has published the testimony of an important Russian director, Aleksandr Molochnikov, who managed to move to the United States instead. He says: «Less than a year ago I was a successful director and screenwriter in Moscow. Now I spend my sleepless nights in New York City trying to find plane tickets for my friends to flee Russia before they are sent to the front lines or arrested. I was about to start shooting a film when the Kremlin started bombing Ukrainian cities. Dozens of actors and a film crew were waiting for me to start shooting. Many of my friends had already fled the country that week. They called me every five minutes, asking why I was still in Russia. As violence escalated in Ukraine, the state cracked down on Russian artists and anyone who spoke out against the war.

Again: «The parliamentarians held a meeting and decided that several public figures, including me, should be suspended from working in Russia, unless we expressed clear support for the “special operation”. More than one official suggested sending me to the front line of Donbass. The pressure on artists, comedians and especially directors has been ruthless in Russia. As a result, a dozen of the most famous theater directors working in Moscow before the war left the country. Once these men and women had made our city one of the most extraordinary theater capitals in Europe. Now, any performance must be careful not to offend the Kremlin’s feelings.” In summary: those who can, including intellectuals, directors, writers, artists in general who do not want to submit to Putin’s censorship, flee.


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Russia in revolt, 28 thousand flee and take citizenship in Israel. Among them artists and stars

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