Alexei Malobrodsky, the former managing director of Moscow’s Gogol Center, was detained in June and charged with embezzling government funds as part of a high-profile fraud case that has caused an uproar at home and abroad. He is currently being held in a pre-trial facility in Moscow.
Below is a letter he sent to long-time Moscow Times theater critic John Freedman and his wife, actress Oksana Mysina, from his cell. The letter has not been redacted.
Aug. 28, 2017
Dear John! Dear Oksana! Friends, Greetings!
How wonderful to receive your letter! I have thought about you. Naturally, I did not doubt either your attitude to the attending madness, or your support.
Still, to hold in your hands a letter and to read your actual words – is like a handshake. Thank you for your flattering comments and your kind wishes.
The main thing is that you are nearby. To feel and to understand that is very important. With this support we are invincible and we will definitely achieve the victory of truth. That may sound a bit bathetic, but it’s true. The victory of truth in our current “Rashn” (Russian) circumstances is more than merely demanding justice. It is the only answer to a fundamental challenge.
In the more than two months of my odyssey, I have felt directly the full extent of the system’s villainy and perfidy. I have come to realize that not only my personal situation is on the line, that if we don’t create a precedent of uncompromising resistance, a precedent of victory, then all-encompassing “oprichnina-like” cannibalism may never be turned back.
In this regard the support of “the international theater community” is especially important. It must not be just a figure of speech, but a real process existing in extended time.
Because the band of investigators will draw out time, inventing more and more new nonsense, if only to force public attention to weaken
But, I repeat, neither I nor Kirill nor Gogol Center nor Seventh Studio are the point – the point is all of us, the point is our future.
I seem to have grown prolix. )) In fact, I’m simply happy to hear from you. Thank you and until we meet.
I embrace you, your Alexei.
Alexei Malobrodsky was managing director of the Gogol Center between February 2013 and March 2015. The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.