Svetlana Alexievich, Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Salman Rushdie and Elif Shafak are among the over 1000 writers worldwide, who have expressed solidarity with writers, journalists, artists, and the people of Ukraine, condemning the Russian invasion and calling for an immediate end to the bloodshed.
The open letter released by PEN International, the literary and free expression organisation, is addressed to "our friends and colleagues in Ukraine."
The open letter says, "We, writers around the world, are appalled by the violence unleashed by Russian forces against Ukraine and urgently call for an end to the bloodshed."
"We stand united in condemnation of a senseless war, waged by President Putin’s refusal to accept the rights of Ukraine’s people to debate their future allegiance and history without Moscow’s interference. We stand united in support of writers, journalists, artists, and all the people of Ukraine, who are living through their darkest hours. We stand by you and feel your pain. All individuals have a right to peace, free expression, and free assembly. Putin’s war is an attack on democracy and freedom not just in Ukraine, but around the world. We stand united in calling for peace and for an end to the propaganda that is fueling the violence. There can be no free and safe Europe without a free and independent Ukraine. Peace must prevail," the open letter affirmed.
Meanwhile, New York City's Metropolitan Opera announced on Sunday that it would cut ties with pro-Putin artists. Other opera houses around the world are reacting similarly, DW reported.
The German state-owned International broadcaster reported that Kirill Petrenko, chief conductor of Berlin's Philharmonic Orchestra, spoke out fiercely against what he called "Putin's insidious" attack in a statement published on February 25. He called it "a knife in the back of the entire peaceful world," as well as an attack on the arts which "unite across all borders."
"And despite the danger, within Russia, some of the biggest names in music have taken to their social media platforms to condemn the actions of President Putin," DW said.
Ukrainian artists Bloom Twins and Khrystyna Soloviy have earlier come out against the Russian invasion of their country.