Russian police say Bolshoi ballet lead dancer confessed to acid attack on director

By Daniel S Levine,

Russian police say that the lead dancer for the Bolshoi ballet troupe has confessed to the January acid attack on the prestigious organization's artistic director, Sergei Filin. Authorities say that two others are also in custody and have confessed to the crime as well.

Earlier in the week, police said they had a suspect in custody, but would not reveal his name. However, they did say that the apartment of lead dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko was being searched and that others within the Bolshoi were targets of the investigation.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Dmitrichenko confessed to ordering the attack on Wednesday. Yuri Zarutski and Andrei Lipatov confessed to throwing the acid on the night of Jan. 17. Filin suffered third-degree burns to his face and has had to undergo surgery to save his eyesight.

CNN reports that police said that Dmitrichenko and Filin had a "hostile relationship" related to work.

Moscow released footage of Dmitrichenko, 29, and his accomplices confessing to the crime. “I organized this attack but not to the extent that it happened,” he is heard saying.

“I didn't see what happened there. I just took Yuri there, waited for him and gave him a lift back,” Lipatov, who is suspected to have driven Zarutski, said. “I don't want to talk about it,” Zarutski, who threw the acid, told police in his video.

The incident has shined a light on the politics of the Bolshoi theater and the behind-the-scenes tension. The LA Times notes Dmitrichenko reportedly didn’t like Filin not giving his girlfriend the roles she wanted. Filin had told the press that prior to the attack, he had been receiving intimidating messages.

The three suspects could face up to 12 years in prison.



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