Twelve cultural prominenti wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin last week, calling for Andrei Iksanov, director for the past 12 miserable years, to be replaced by the dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze. In a swift riposte, Putin’s culture ministry announced the renewal of Iskanov’s contract.
Since then, various of the prominenti have let it be known that they meant no offence to Iskanov. The opera singer Elena Obratsova has written him a public apology, saying she hadn’t read the letter that she signed to Putin. As one does (or does not) in Putin’s Russia.