The director of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre has claimed that the “real puppetmaster” of the acid attack on the theatre’s artistic director is still at large.
Anatoly Iksanov said that “the whole collective is certain” that Pavel Dmitrichenko was pushed towards the attack by someone else.
Mr Dmitrichenko, a soloist at the theatre known for dancing the roles of villains, was arrested last week by Russian police along with two accomplices and admitted to paying for 42-year-old Sergei Filin to be attacked.
But he said he had not meant for acid to be used and thought that Yury Zarutsky, whom he had hired, would simply rough up the ballet director. Mr Filin is still recovering from the January attack, in a German clinic, while Mr Dmitrichenko and Mr Zarutsky been remanded in custody as investigators continue their work. “He was pushed towards the attack,” Mr Iksanov told Russian television. “He was not the mastermind that he is being portrayed as. There is a puppetmaster and the investigators should work out who it is.”
The Bolshoi has repeatedly hinted that Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a Bolshoi premier dancer who has fallen out with Mr Iksanov and the management, could be behind the attack. Mr Tsiskaridze, who was close to Mr Dmitrichenko, has denied involvement.