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Bolshoi Ballet Acid Attack

The Bolshoi Ballet is one of Russia’s international renowned classical ballet companies, housed at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia. One of Bolshoi Ballet’s most promising dancers, Pavel Dmitrichenko, 29, has made a splash in headlines after an acid attack that took place on Jan. 17.

Dmitrichenko has admitted to being the mastermind behind an acid attack intended to blind Bolshoi artistic director, Sergei Filin.  In an interview released by Russian Police, Dmitrichenko confessed to organizing the attack, “but not to the extent that it occurred.” So far only two alleged accomplices have been detained. Yuri Zarutsky, an alleged hit man who already has a conviction for homicide, played the role of the acid thrower while Andrey Lipatov drove the getaway car. Neither Zarutsky nor Lipatov have relation with the company itself. Dmitrichenko’s girlfriend, Anzhelina Voronstova, was also brought in but no charges were made.

Investigators believe that Dmitrichenko had a “personal enmity” against Filin. There was speculation from Bolshoi’s managers after the attack that this could possibly be retaliation from Dmitrichenko because of Filin’s recent selection of dancers for lead roles.

 After Filin was promoted to artistic director in March 2011, two dancers quit the Russian renowned company after being unhappy with the direction Filin had taken the ballet. Nikolai Tsiskaridze, who was also in the running for being promoted to artistic director, criticized Filin for exceeding the renovation budget.

On the night of the attack Dmitrichenko tipped off Zarutsky giving him the go head to proceed with the acid. The attack occurred around midnight while Filin was leaving the theater to go home. Filin was left with third-degree burns and is temporarily blind. While Filin may take up to at least six months for recovery, formal principal dancer, Galina Stepanenko, will run the company.