A Russian Pianist Speaks Out Against the War From Home
Polina Osetinskaya, a critic of the invasion who has stayed in Moscow even as the government cracks down on dissent, will play a Baroque program in New York.
When Russia invaded Ukraine last year, the pianist Polina Osetinskaya, who lives in Moscow, was distraught. She took to social media to describe a sense of horror, shame and disgust, and expressed solidarity with Ukraine, where she had often performed.
But unlike many artists, activists and intellectuals, Osetinskaya, 47, decided to remain in Russia, where she lives with her three children, even as the Kremlin cracked down on free expression and made clear that any contradiction of the governments statements on the invasion could be treated as a crime. She has faced consequences for her views some concerts at state-run halls have been canceled, while others have been interrupted by the authorities.
Osetinskaya, who was born in Moscow, says her international career has also suffered because of her Russian identity. She lost some overseas engagements after the invasion, she says, because presenters were nervous about featuring Russian citizens. As a result, she says that she often feels caught in the middle: seen suspiciously both inside and outside her country.