“This is a War Between Russia and the United States. It Just Happens to be on Ukrainian Soil.”


Russian Model Kira Dikhtyar on Being Forced to Choose Sides Between the U.S. and Russia

The last time I published a newsletter that quoted Russian supermodel Kira Dikhtyar, she was in New York. The war with Ukraine had just begun, and Dikhtyar found herself suddenly unable to get any work—no matter that she had dual citizenship. (She forwarded me an email from a New York modeling agent stating that they were no longer representing Russian models.) When we spoke first, she told me that she had many friends and relatives in Ukraine and that she was close friends with Ukrainian models also in New York.

But that was then.

Since then, on April 26, Dikhtyar returned to Moscow, where her son lives—a journey that was both stressful and complicated. She told me she was held for hours at the Russian border on account of her dual citizenship and faulty spelling on her documents. In our Q&A below, she explains that she began to feel that “this is a war was between Russia and [the] United States. It just happens to be on Ukrainian soil” and that therefore she was forced to choose sides. It was the discrimination she received by the United States, she says, that made it impossible for her not to choose Russia. The first signal she gave that she had chosen was to post a photograph on Instagram of herself kissing her son, whose head was newly-shaved with the Z sign clearly visible above his left ear.

I had a series of conversations with Dikhtyar over several days. Read them at “Vicky Ward Investigates.”