Madrid's Opera House cancels Russia's Bolshoi ballet show after Ukraine invasion

A general view shows the Teatro Real (Royal Theatre), a major opera house, at Plaza de Oriente (Oriente square) in Madrid, Spain, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Andrea Comas/File Photo

MADRID, March 4 (Reuters) - Madrid's Teatro Real on Friday said it has cancelled performances of the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet scheduled in May because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the "painful humanitarian emergency" it has caused.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed or wounded and more than 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24 when Russia's President Vladimir Putin ordered the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.

"The Teatro Real regrets not being able to count on this prestigious company, whose director, Vladimir Urin, has spoken out publicly in favour of Ukraine and against the war", it said.

The opera house already showed its support to Ukraine on Feb. 27, when in a performance of "Twilight of the Gods," the corpse of Siegfried was wrapped in the Ukrainian flag.

The invasion has led dozens of private companies as well as a wide array of institutions to either stop operating in Russia or cut ties with Russian counterparts.

The Madrid theatre said it will reimburse the tickets it had already sold.

Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Inti Landauro and Mark Porter

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