I am not sure a "leader" should come right out and single one person out in an interview as the first person who should get more opportunities, unless it was someone everyone is talking about all over the world as the most exciting dancer to ever appear at the Mariinsky. I think he should have simply named some of the names like he did afterward. Why would he name Skorik first of all? He probably knows about all the controversy, and that makes me think he named her first and foremost as a challenge. He seems determined to prove she has what it takes. This sounds like it is all about him, not her. I think it is cruel to put an unprepared dancer on one of the world's stages and let us balletomanes pounce on her like wolves! Maybe he thinks we shouldn't, but we do, and opera lovers pounce on new singers who make mistake after mistake. It is the way of the world. I am starting to believe this is a power trip on his part.
Just wanted to answer Birdsall's question. No, the theatre is not looking for another director for the ballet troupe, nor will they. In fact, Vasiev's position was "Zavedushi" (head) of the ballet troupe, as was Vinogradov's. Fateyev's is "deputy head" but an interim or deputy director can be present for a very long "interim" and that is what everyone expects to happen.
I was surprised at the Berkeley performances how much clout the American audiences give to the printed programs. In this case, the printed literature (at least at the Berkeley stop - I haven't seen LA or DC programs so cannot comment on those) should not be taken as bible. In the case of Berkeley's programs, the list of 'Principals' bears no relation to the actual ranking of the dancers in the Mariinsky. Rather the rankings were listed in order to back up the casting decisions, not the other way around. Example: we have Kolegova and Skorik listed as principals alongside Sergeyev and Zuizin. Inside the Mariinsky they are all soloists of various levels. Perhaps a fine distinction but a difference nonetheless. Further, alllll of the men are listed as Coryphees, and all the other women as Soloists. Make of it what you will.
To boot, Konstantin Sergeyev's position was also never "artistic director', although I'm sure tour programs listed him as such. So, technically speaking the company has not had an "artistic director" that I am aware of (at least not according to official files - again, tour programs may be written differently for easier understanding by the foreign public). Gergiev wields the power and decides who, under him will "run" the ballet. His subordinates in any case answer to him and that point is one that shouldn't be overlooked.