Suspect detained in Bolshoi acid attack

UPDATE: Three men have been arrested, including a star dancer

Published March 5, 2013 5:30PM (EST)

Breaking news update from the AP:

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian police say they have detained three men, including a star dancer, in the January acid attack on the artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet.

Sergei Filin was left with severe burns to his eyes and face when an unidentified attacker threw a jar of sulfuric acid in his face as he was returning home late on Jan. 17. The 42-year-old former dancer is now undergoing treatment in Germany.

Interior Ministry spokesman Anatoly Lastovetsky said Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko was among those arrested on Tuesday.

The two others are the suspected perpetrator of the attack and the man suspected of driving him to and from the scene.

It was not immediately clear what role the dancer is suspected of playing in the attack.


Moscow police have detained a suspect whom they believe may be responsible for the attack on Bolshoi ballet artistic director Sergei Filin, who was hospitalized after a man splashed acid on his face in January. The Russian Interior Ministry announced today that it is conducting “a series of urgent investigative actions," including the detention of the suspect and searching of the suspect's home.

The attack that nearly blinded Filin shook the art world in Russia and beyond; Filin and police believe that the attack was the result of a work-related conflict--perhaps a professional grudge. Referring to a series of threats against the director, theater spokesperson Katerina Novikova told a local radio station that, “I hope this is the right path, and the crime will be entirely solved, because it is important to know everyone who stands behind this: behind the attack on the Internet, the telephone calls, and above all the act of vandalism which was carried out on the 17th of January against Sergei Filin."

Filin, who left the hospital last month, has undergone several operations attempting to restore his eyesight, and is expected to receive plastic surgery in the coming months.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Ballet Bolshoi Moscow Sergei Filin Sulphuric Acid