"You are depriving us of the opportunity to live and die in our own land"

L.I. BREZHNEVU

Citizen Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR!

The Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which you head, has deprived us of Soviet citizenship. More precisely, you deprive us of the opportunity to live and die in our own land, on which we were born and to which we have unsuccessfully given up nearly half a century of our life, dedicating our work and talent to our people. Our contribution to Soviet art was evaluated by the Soviet government by awarding us the highest awards of the USSR: the soloist of the Bolshoi Theater Galina Vishnevskaya — the title of People’s Artist of the USSR and the Order of Lenin, and Mstislav Rostropovich — the Stalin Prize, the Lenin Prize, the title of People’s Artist of the USSR and the degree of professor at the Moscow Conservatory.

We are musicians. We think and live music. Our worldview, our views, our attitude towards people and events derive completely from our profession. The accusations made to us by the Supreme Council are pure fiction. We have never participated in any anti-Soviet organizations, both in our homeland and abroad. You know as well as others that our only “fault” was that we gave shelter in our house to the writer A. Solzhenitsyn. For this, with your sanction, all kinds of persecution were brought down on us, which it was impossible to survive for us: cancellation of concerts, banning of tours abroad, boycott of radio, television, print, an attempt to paralyze our musical activity. Three times while still in Russia, Rostropovich addressed you: for the first time with a letter and twice with telegrams with a request to help us, but neither you nor any of your subordinates even responded to this cry of the soul.

Thus, you forced us to ask about going abroad for a long time, and it was designed as a business trip of the USSR Ministry of Culture. But, apparently, you didn’t have enough of our tears in our homeland, and you have overtaken us here. Now, in your name of the “fighter for peace and human rights”, we are morally shot in the back on a trumped up charge, depriving us of the right to return to our homeland. The Soviet government has the opportunity to mock the great writers living in Russia: Vladimimov, Voinovich, Zinoviev - and you probably think that they threw us into a landfill, where Rakhmaninov, Shalyapin, Stravinsky, Kandinsky, Shemyakin, Neizvestny, Bunin were thrown at one time , Solzhenitsyn, Maximov, Nekrasov. In your power to make us change our place of residence, but you are powerless to change our hearts, and wherever we are, we will continue with pride in the Russian people and with love for it to carry our art.

We have never engaged in, do not engage in, and do not intend to engage in politics, because they are not organically arranged for this kind of activity. But, being artists by profession and vocation, we could not and cannot remain indifferent to the fate of our fellow artists. This was what dictated all our human and civil actions.

We do not recognize your right to an act of violence against us until we are charged with specific charges and given legal protection against charges.

We demand that we be tried in any place of the USSR, at any time with one condition, that this process be open.

We hope that you will respond to this fourth appeal to you, and if not, then maybe even the paint of shame will flood your cheeks.

Paris, 17. III.1978

G. Vishnevskaya M. Rostropovich

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