Dmitry Ozerkov, who headed the department of contemporary art of the Hermitage, left his post and left the country. He explained his decision by saying that he did not want "to have anything to do with today's Russia." Ozerkov's post in English was published on his Instagram page, here is a fragment of it:
“After Russia brought its troops into Ukraine, dialogue and respect ceased to mean anything in Russia, the news was replaced by propaganda, which does not say anything about accusing the Russian armed forces of numerous crimes against civilians. As a citizen of Russia, I saw this shame as my own guilt. Then I chose to stop doing anything in today's Russia and for her. He left the positions of the head of the A&S program at ITMO University, the curator of Zifergauz, the curator of MastersDigital and other local projects. I left the City Council for Culture under the governor of St. Petersburg.
I salute all for whom the Greek word Exodus, used by the authors of the Septuagint, has become the only possible way out of this situation. Russia squeezed out all of us who wanted nothing but good for her culture.”
Ozerkov's post notes that he decided to leave after the war broke out, but the final decision was made after the publication of an interview with the general director of the museum.
In June, Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky said in an interview that with the help of the war in Ukraine, Russia is making “great global transformations”, and war is “the self-assertion of people, the self-assertion of the nation”.
“We retreated, retreated, now we are not retreating. A turn has been made. And it is already clear that the final. Everything was started in 2014 in the Crimea. Crimea created a situation where it was already impossible to do otherwise, it was necessary to turn around,” Piotrovsky said.
Piotrovsky's interview was published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta under the title "Why it is necessary to be with your country when it makes a historical turn and choice."