Russian Celebrities Speak Out Against Ukraine Invasion: 'No to War!'

A host of Russian celebrities have spoken out against going to war, as President Vladimir Putin launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russian attack helicopters have been filmed in the skies above the neighboring country, while explosions were heard in Kyiv and other cities soon after Putin declared the start of a "special military operation" in Ukraine on Thursday.

And with the anticipated attack signaling the dawn of brutal conflict, a number of Russia's stars are making it known that they do not support the military action.

TV presenter Ivan Urgant took to Instagram to post a black square, to which he added the caption, written in Russian: "Fear and pain. NO WAR."

Comedian Maxim Galkin, who is married to revered musician Alla Pugacheva, also posted a black square on his Instagram account, as he questioned the conflict.

"I've been talking to friends and relatives from Ukraine since early morning!" Galkin captioned the post. "I can't find the words to say what I feel! How can this be possible! There can be no justification for war! No to war!"

Former competitive figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva shared a message on her Instagram Story that read: "I hope this all ends as soon as possible, like a bad dream."

Meanwhile, singer Valery Meladze shared his take on the escalating conflict in a video posted on his Instagram account on Thursday.

"Today something happened that could and should never have happened," he said. "History will judge everything one day. Now I want to beg you to stop military action and sit down to negotiate."

Joining the Russian voices, Ukrainian-born pop star Svetlana Loboda posted an image of a face superimposed over a field, with the blue and yellow background depicting the Ukrainian flag.

"My heart is breaking," she wrote. "Since five in the morning I have been in touch with my family and friends. Well, how is this possible! Lord stop it all. I'm just crying."

While the celebrities' stance on the matter was clear, the Financial Times' Moscow bureau chief Max Seddon noted that none of them directly criticized Putin.

"Most of these guys rely heavily on the state for their living," Seddon stated at the start of a Twitter thread on the celebrities' comments.

"None of them are protesting or mentioning Putin by name. But even stuff like this can get you banned from state TV for life," Seddon added.

Putin had falsely stated in a televised address that the attack was a necessary move to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine—a claim that the U.S. had predicted he would use to justify an invasion.

The Russian leader also took aim at other nations in his address, warning them not to "interfere," or prepare to face "immediate" consequences.

He said: "Anyone who tries to interfere with us, or even more so, to create threats for our country and our people, must know that Russia's response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history. We are ready for any turn of events."

According to a statement from the White House, President Joe Biden condemned the attack, branding it "unprovoked and unjustified" during a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy.

Biden had previously stated that "the world will hold Russia accountable."

"President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering," Biden said. "Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable."

He also announced plans to publicly reveal on Thursday "further consequences" the U.S. and its allies would impose on Russia "for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security."

Russian celebrities speak out against Ukraine war
Evgenia Medvedeva (top left) and Ivan Urgant (right) are among a host of Russian celebrities who have spoken out against President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian-born singer Svetlana Loboda (bottom left) has also spoken out against the military action. Lars Baron/Getty Images;/Ryan Emberley/Getty Images for amfAR; MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images