Bolshoi Ballet Acid Attack: Star Soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko Confesses
A solo dancer with the Bolshoi ballet and two other men have confessed to ordering the acid attack on the company’s former artistic director, Sergei Filin, in January.
Pavel Dmitrichenko, a 29-year-old Bolshoi star dancer who has been with the company for a decade, was arrested on Tuesday by Moscow police along with two others believed to have carried out the attack on the the dancer’s orders.
The men are understood to have confessed to their involvement in the crime on Wednesday, said The Washington Post.
“I organized this attack,” Dmitrichenko, looking unkempt and tired, said in a video shown on Russia 24 state television. He said he had not intended for his plan to go as far as it had.
The Bolshoi star refused to give a reason for why he had ordered the acid attack, adding that he had given them in his written confession.
The other two men were also shown in the video. The first, Yuri Zarutsky, 35, is an unemployed man with a criminal record who admitted to actually throwing the acid, and the second is Andrei Lipatov, 31, a driver who said he was contracted to drive Zarutsky to the scene of the crime but did not know what would happen.
The Independent reports a spokesperson for the Bolshoi theater said she was she was not aware of any conflict between Filin and Dmitrichenko. However, Russia state television reporters have come up with a more detailed dimension to the horrific story.
According to WP, before Filin became the Bolshoi’s artistic director two years ago, he was the ballet director at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater. While there, Filin reportedly tried to hire a young ballerina called Anzhelina Vorontsova, who turned down his offer to work at the Bolshoi.
In one of the many twists emerging from the case, Vorontsova’s teacher and mentor at the Bolshoi was Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a dancer who reportedly wanted the job that was eventually given to Filin and has since been a outspoken critic of the company’s management.
While he was at the Bolshoi, Filin reportedly did not promote Vorontsova, and it’s been reported on Russian television reports that that Dmitrichenko — the dancer who confessed — was reportedly romantically involved with Vorontsova.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on January 15, Filin, 42, was attacked as he returned home after an evening spent at a gala. He lived in an apartment not far from the Bolshoi, and it’s been revealed that Dmitrichenko also owned an apartment there.
Filin was approached by a scarf-covered man who called out Filin’s name before throwing sulfuric acid. Filin subsequently underwent a series of eye operations in Moscow and is now undergoing treatment in a German hospital for his severely damaged eyesight and facial burns. The current state of his vision has not been revealed.
Filin has always said that he believed the attack was related to his work at the theater. During the police investigation that followed, the entire Bolshoi troupe and administration were questioned. Dmitrichenko was seen as a possible lead after police analyzed mobile phone records that occurred at the time and in the area of the crime and saw that repeated calls were made to a number that turned out to be Lipatov’s.
WP reports Bolshoi officials announced on Wednesday that they were looking for a replacement for Dmitrichenko, who was set to perform in two upcoming productions — “Sleeping Beauty” on March 16 and “Ivan the Terrible” on April 16.
All three men are currently in police custody but no date has yet been set for a trial. If convicted, the men face up to 12 years in jail.
At the time — and still — the acid attack horrified Moscow residents, most of whom consider the Bolshoi Ballet one its most enduring cultural successes.