Baryshnikov, 74, began his dance career in the Kirov Ballet in Russia before deflecting to Canada. He joined the American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet before becoming an artistic director. He also guest starred on Sex and the City.
In the letter shared on True Russia’s website, Baryshnikov opened up about how “fear” led to the website’s ban.
“Your cronies, seized by fear, were ordered to ban our website — the website of TRUE RUSSIA,” he wrote. “Their fear is so very predictable. But it is this very fear that invests us with greater confidence in our chosen path.”
True Russia was founded by Baryshnikov, writer Boris Akunin and economist Sergei Guriyev in March.
“People like us have brought more honor to the Russian world than all of your not-so-precise precision-guided munitions,” he shared of the charity’s co-founders. “Your Russian world, the world of fear, the world in which they burn Ukrainian textbooks, will not live on as long as there are people like us — True Russians immunized from the disease of fear.”
He continued, “It is our world that will live on despite all your bans, and it is your Russia that will die from its own horror unless it wakes up.”
Baryshnikov concluded the letter with a direct message to Putin.
“You know what you fear. You know whose munitions are precise,” he shared.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.
“You don’t know where to go, where to run, who you have to call. This is just panic,” Liliya Marynchak, a 45-year-old teacher in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, told PEOPLE of the moment her city was bombed — one of numerous accounts of bombardment by the Russians.
The invasion, ordered by Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.
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With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.
Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy vowed not to bend.
“Nobody is going to break us, we’re strong, we’re Ukrainians,” he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting, adding, “Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness.”
The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE’s complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.