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Acid attack shines harsh light on Russia's ballet scene

18 January 2013

The creative director of Moscow’s Bolshoi theatre is facing the possibility that he may not see properly again. With his face almost entirely covered with bandages, Sergei Filin described to Russian television how a masked man threw acid at his face near the entrance to his apartment. Filin had been feeling under threat for a while, saying: “On the 31st December my phones were completely blocked. I could not communicate as usual. It was a warning.” As doctors work to save Filin’s eyesight, the Moscow ballet community speculates that theatre politics may be at the root of the attack. Even the head the Bolshoi theatre has said he believes envy or rivalry could be the cause. Before the assault by his home, Filin had also reportedly told colleagues that his tyres had been slashed and his internet accounts hacked.