British ballet dancer leaves Russian ballet 'until peace comes' as the country invades Ukraine
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Xander shared the news Sunday on Instagram.
"Dear friends & followers, tonight I was supposed to be performing Giselle at the Mariinsky Theatre but instead, due to the awful crisis I have taken the difficult decision to leave Russia, at least until peace comes," 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 am so grateful to the Mariinsky Theatre who, thanks to Yuri Fateev, took me in 12 years ago and gave me a career in classical ballet I could only have dreamed about."
Xander Parish as Prince Siegfried with artists of the company 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 went on to pray for peace in the region.
"I am grateful to the wonderful ordinary Russian people, the majority of whom have treated me with such kindness," he continued. "I pray that peace will come and the wounds will be healed by God’s grace. Thank you to all of you who have been sending me messages over the past few days and sorry for not having had the time to reply."
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Putin has labeled the invasion a "special military mission."
Parish revealed he is leaving Russia and the prestigious Mariinsky Ballet amid the Russia-Ukraine war. (Robbie Jack - Corbis/Getty Images for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 & The Royal Ballet)
The invasion of Ukraine comes after Putin recognized separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine. The war has prompted 1.7 million Ukrainians to flee the country.