The management of the Estonian Russian Theatre has fired director Philip Los after the publication of his social media post, in which he had claimed that “rotten Russophobia” was spreading in Estonia amid the recently imposed anti-Russian sanctions, reports ERR, citing head of the theatre Svetlana Yanchek.
The decision about his firing was made on 12 September. “With his remarks on social media, which he continues making, Philip Los is damaging the theatre’s reputation and provokes an extremely negative view on the fact that the Russian Theatre even exists in Estonia,” Yanchek said.
She added that Los had been fired not for his opinion but for his way of expressing it, “offensive for many”.
Los posted his opinion on social media on 30 August. In the post, he equated the treatment of Russians in Estonia to the treatment of Jews during the Second World War. “While people enthusiastically support supplying Ukraine with arms and Good defeating Evil, rotten, smelly Russophobia has started spreading from everywhere, and no one is pinching their nose and saying “Ew!” A great moment for it, isn’t it? Get even for everything, stomp on all freedoms and rights of Russian citizens, as if we didn’t have enough other problems. What will happen to our rights moving forward?” he wrote.
Los served as the theatre’s artistic director from 2017. His contract expired on 5 September, and he moved to the position of a stage director. He planned to put on two plays this season, reports ERR.
On 8 September, the Estonian government announced that, starting from 19 September, it would close entry into the country to all Russians with Schengen visas, including the ones issued by other countries. Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland introduced similar measures. Immediately after the start of the war in Ukraine, Estonia stopped issuing tourist visas to Russians and restricted issuance of residence permits.