MOSCOW Jan 18 A director of Russia's Bolshoi
ballet suffered severe burns when acid was thrown in his face,
police and media said on Friday, in an attack the head of the
prestigious theatre said was part of an intimidation campaign.
The troupe's artistic director, Sergei Filin, was attacked
outside his apartment building late on Thursday, police and
colleagues said. Interfax news agency cited a medical source who
described his condition as stable.
First Channel TV said doctors were "trying to preserve his
The theatre in the heart of Moscow is an enduring symbol of
Russian culture and a big draw for both locals and foreign
tourists, but has seen power struggles among both dancers and
directors during its more than 200-year history.
Its head Anatoly Iksanov said he believed the attack was
aimed at sowing discord at the Bolshoi, and that the culprit
"should be sought among those for whom it was beneficial to
compromise the theatre leadership."
He said Filin, 42, had told him of incidents this month in
which his car tires were slashed and his email hacked into.
Filin's mother, Natalya, said he had been threatened but
that she did not know who could have been behind the attack,
state-run RIA news agency reported.
"What's important to me now is the health of my son, that he
not lose his eyesight," she was quoted as saying.
Moscow police said an unidentified attacker had splashed
acid on the face of a manager at the Bolshoi but did not name
Ekho Moskvy radio said Filin suffered third-degree burns and
that doctors believed it would take him at least six months to
Filin, a Moscow native, joined the Bolshoi's ballet troupe
in 1988 and was named its artistic leader in March 2011, after
three years in a similar position at another Moscow theatre.
The Bolshoi, which has ballet and opera troupes, reopened
last February after a six-year renovation to its colonnaded
landmark building near the Kremlin and across the street from a
bust of the father of Communism, Karl Marx.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by John Stonestreet)