Just days after the invasion of Ukraine, Olga Smirnova, one of Russia’s most important ballerinas, posted an emotional statement on Telegram, the messaging app. "I am against war with all the fibers of my soul,” she wrote.

"I never thought I would be ashamed of Russia,” she added, "but now I feel that a line has been drawn that separates the before and the after.”

That’s certainly been true for Smirnova, 30. As the war got worse, and dissent in Russia was ruthlessly quashed, Smirnova, who had gone to Dubai to recover from a knee injury, realized that she could no longer return home. "If I were to go back to Russia, I would have to completely change my opinion, the way I felt about the war,” Smirnova said in a recent interview in Amsterdam, adding that returning would be, "quite frankly, dangerous.”