Dedicated to dance
since 1910.

Buy Latest Issue

Dmitrichenko trial begins

Posted on October 30, 2013

bolshoi andrew-bayda-fotolia.comThe trial of Pavel Dmitrichenko, the dancer accused of organising an acid attack on Bolshoi director Sergei Filin, has begun.

Dmitrichenko has pleaded not guilty. Another defendant, Yuri Zarutsky, who is accused of throwing the acid, told the Moscow court that he had attacked Sergei Filin, and had acted alone.

Prosecutors argued that Dmitrichenko, dissatisfied with Filin’s casting choices and financial rewards, entered into a criminal conspiracy with Zarutsky and Andrei Lipatov. Dmitrichenko acquired mobile phones and SIM cards, while Zarutsky bought accumulator electrolyte (sulphuric acid) which he had concentrated for the attack on Filin. Lipatov is accused of driving Zarutsky to the place of the attack.

Dmitrichenko and Lipatov denied guilt, with Dmitrichenko saying he bought the phones for other reasons. It emerged that they were registered to non-existent persons, and that the SIM card information was false.

Dmitrichenko, who was escorted to court by guards with a large Alsatian dog, has also alleged that Filin had had intimate relationships with young ballerinas of the company, specifically mentioning Olga Smirnova. Filin’s lawyer, Tatiana Stukalova, said it was “unmanly” of Dmitrichenko to accuse Filin of sexual relationships with the company’s ballerinas.

The judge indicated that Filin, who has returned to Germany for treatment, may later be called to appear in court.

With thanks to Tony Devereux for translation.


Picture: The Bolshoi Theatre. Photograph: Andrew Bayda,


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

Connect with Dancing Times: