Helene

Sergei Filin Attacked

653 posts in this topic

My understanding was that Pronin himself turned down the acting director job, arguing that it should be filled by someone of greater artistic stature. Perhaps he should have taken it.

http://izvestia.ru/news/543379

I guess the next investigation will be to find out what went wrong in the once-close relationship between Filin and Pronin.

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What I don't understand is this:

"The third paragraph of Article 39 of the Labour Code states that a person authorided to negotiate with the administration cannot be dismissed by the employer. There is an exception if he has committed any offence for which the law provides for his dismissal," chief legal officer of the Theatre Performers Union Nikolai Zhukov told Izvestia.

I thought Pronin had to be replaced as union representative anyway, because it was a conflict of interest to be in management and the union representative, and his appointment was supposed to be temporary. it would seem that with him no longer Company Manager, there would no longer be a conflict of interest.

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From what I can tell with the somewhat dubious aid of Google translation, if it's decided that Filin's injuries aren't serious enough there will a lesser sentence for Dmitrichenko and his cohorts - assuming they're even convicted in the first place. Apparently in Russia throwing acid in someone's face isn't enough of a serious crime to merit a stiff jail sentence if the victim isn't considered to have suffered enough harm.

http://izvestia.ru/news/549367

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Here's another article that shows photos of the extent of Filin's burns and what was done to heal his skin. I think it's ironic that because they were able to do such an amazing job restoring his face people have been questioning the severity of his injuries.

http://lifenews.ru/news/113186

While I'm glad they were able to save him from disfigurement, I wish they could be as successful in restoring at least some of his vision.

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In fairness, it's like that everywhere. Opposing attorneys wrangling for stiffer or more lenient charges is part of the process. Intent matters, but so does the degree to which a plot succeeds. There will be differing levels of punishment depending on whether someone succeeds in depriving another person of his life, his arm or his finger. In this case the maximum degree of punishment would apply if Filin were completely blinded and/or severely disfigured, and a somewhat milder sentence would be applied if he were not completely blinded or permanently disfigured, though there would be jail time in either case.

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Ismene has translated an interview with Tsiskaridze

http://www.ismeneb.c..._dismissal.html

At the same meeting, Ruslan Pronin told us about the situation around Batyr Annadurdyev, a friend of the accused, Dmitrichenko. In his capacity as company manager, he informed us that Filin, in a phone call, demanded the dismissal of [dancer] Batyr Annadurdyev and Batyr had signed off this notice. Once Pronin said that, it was clear to me that now he would be the first to be fired. After all, he dared to say it to everybody.

I'm going to make a map to try to keep track of all the people, who used to be friends - but now enemies, etc. This is getting hard to track. But sadly Russia is prosecuting government reformers instead of using them to clean up messes like the Bolshoi.

As was mentioned earlier in the thread - maybe Filin was a corrupt manager - and a victim of an attack. And maybe Nikolai is arrogant and dramatic - and he's also right about somethings. Who knows what will happen next.

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Good points, Jayne, Pronin's changing sides is very significant, should Filin emerge as corrupt, Pronin's close association with him would damage his reputation in the ballet world.

Tsiskaridze's got a view on everything, but he has lifted a few stones that needed lifting over the years, it's just a shame that what was discovered underneath those stones was never effectively dealt with.

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The performer's union is working on a new collective bargaining agreement. Svetlana Lunkina is involved from afar. Ruslan Pronin may remain at the Bolshoi as the full-time union head, if elected to the post.

http://izvestia.ru/news/550435

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Ismene Brown just tweeted a link to her blog for the news from isvetzia.ru that Dmitrichenko's lawyer is disputing Filin's medical condition. From Brown's intro to the translation:

The lawyers representing the men accused of attacking Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin were yesterday finally allowed to see the medical opinion which earlier this week pronounced that Filin had suffered “grievous injury” to his health. At once they announced they would demand a second set of medical opinions, as, they claimed, the documents did not back up the pronouncement.

This is a link to Brown's blog post that described the treatment of his skin, including some photos that are not for weak of stomach.

http://www.ismeneb.com/Blog/Entries/2013/4/25_How_doctors_saved_Filins_burned_skin_with_cell_treatment_-_pictures.html

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On Saturday a Russian channel aired a soapy interview with Anzhelina Vorontsova. It was filmed in Kazan, where she made her debut as Giselle with Tsiskaridze this past week. There was little new in it, but there were a few ostensibly "picante" moments.

Vorontsova's teacher from Voronezh, Tatyana Frolova, reveals that her former pupil does not keep in touch even though it was Frolova who facilitated Vorontsova's fateful trip to a competition in Perm, paying for transportation herself and giving Vorontsova with her own tutus and tiaras.

There is footage of all three of Filin's wives speaking well of him. Mind you, Galina Stepanenko did not sit down for an interview, and given her current post I don't blame her, so the program used existing news footage of warm words between herself and Filin's mother.

Filin's father-in-law is a businessman who supplies the Ministry of Internal Affairs with footwear, though I won't speculate whether providing shoes for Russian policemen rises to the level of a conflict of interest.

Vorontsova claims that despite Filin's investment in her, there were "reasons" why she could not join the Stanislavsky Theater after she finished ballet school, but does not specify what they were. She is also evasive in answering questions about her relationship with Filin, though she states that Dmitrichenko is her first boyfriend, which perhaps undercuts insinuations about Vorontsova being one of Filin's conquests.

Olga Smirnova wades into the matter by criticizing Vorontsova's ambition. This is unfortunate. Smirnova's coach Marina Kondratieva was doing an effective job of pooh-poohing Vorontsova all by herself.

Tsiskaridze's other pupil Denis Rodkin reiterates the narrative that although Dmitrichenko is the kind of person who could sock someone in the face if he were sufficiently angry, he is not the sort to plot behind anyone's back.

http://www.ntv.ru/pe...poved_baleriny/

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If I'm understanding the chronology, according to Dmitrichenko, he had a conversation with Zarutsky, in which he railed against Filin, and Zarutsky offered to beat Filin up, to which Dmitrichenko agreed. Nothing happened for months, at which point Dmitrichenko stopped thinking about it, but during which time, Zarutsky planned the attack, buying the car battery and cooking down the battery acid to make it potent.

Then Zartusky demanded payment and Dmitrichenko's help in staking out Filin to see when he'd leave the party. Dmitrichenko said he feared not paying him, and it's quite possible he was afraid not to do the stake-out. He enlisted a fellow dancer who has admitted to being in the car and described Dmitrichenko's behavior; this dancer was never arrested, and even if Dmitrichenko's defenders are arguing the police beat or coerced a false confession from him, the police did not have the fellow dancer in custody to do the same.

Dmitrichenko had to do three things: 1. accept Zarutsky's offer 2. pay Zarutsky and 3. do the stakeout, and he told a judge he had done the first two, and there's a witness to the third. The first two required zero planning or attention span on his part. I don't understand the argument that Dmitrichenko couldn't possibly have been involved because he was one to lash out and that was the end of it: he did lash out to Zarutsky, and he was too frightened to cross Zarutsky by not paying him when Zarutsky contacted him after months. The only thing that required any initiative on his part was the stake-out, for which he enlisted a fellow dancer (without telling his colleague what it was about).

As far as him not plotting, he vented, a thug offered to beat up the enemy, and how is a guy, especially one with a short fuse, supposed to turn down that offer without looking like a wimp? A guy who says he has nothing for which to apologize because he only wanted his boss beaten up, not attacked with acid, is generally not the kind of guy who would say to a thug, "That wouldn't be right."

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I tried to watch that link, but it was so schlocky that I couldn't finish it. Ugh, of all the things Western Democracy has imported to Russia, gossip TV is one of the worst!

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If I'm understanding the chronology, according to Dmitrichenko, he had a conversation with Zarutsky, in which he railed against Filin, and Zarutsky offered to beat Filin up, to which Dmitrichenko agreed. Nothing happened for months, at which point Dmitrichenko stopped thinking about it, but during which time, Zarutsky planned the attack, buying the car battery and cooking down the battery acid to make it potent.

Then Zartusky demanded payment and Dmitrichenko's help in staking out Filin to see when he'd leave the party. Dmitrichenko said he feared not paying him, and it's quite possible he was afraid not to do the stake-out. He enlisted a fellow dancer who has admitted to being in the car and described Dmitrichenko's behavior; this dancer was never arrested, and even if Dmitrichenko's defenders are arguing the police beat or coerced a false confession from him, the police did not have the fellow dancer in custody to do the same.

Dmitrichenko had to do three things: 1. accept Zarutsky's offer 2. pay Zarutsky and 3. do the stakeout, and he told a judge he had done the first two, and there's a witness to the third. The first two required zero planning or attention span on his part. I don't understand the argument that Dmitrichenko couldn't possibly have been involved because he was one to lash out and that was the end of it: he did lash out to Zarutsky, and he was too frightened to cross Zarutsky by not paying him when Zarutsky contacted him after months. The only thing that required any initiative on his part was the stake-out, for which he enlisted a fellow dancer (without telling his colleague what it was about).

As far as him not plotting, he vented, a thug offered to beat up the enemy, and how is a guy, especially one with a short fuse, supposed to turn down that offer without looking like a wimp? A guy who says he has nothing for which to apologize because he only wanted his boss beaten up, not attacked with acid, is generally not the kind of guy who would say to a thug, "That wouldn't be right."

Sounds about right to me.

The detail I can't ever seem to forget (and which I think changes things a lot) is that Zarutsky was jailed for beating someone so badly they later died. He seems like a very violent person; by associating with him, venting about Filin to him, and accepting the offer to have him beaten, it seems like he knew great harm would come to Filin in some way - whether acid was talked about or not. Of course, this is just my opinion.

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The detail I can't ever seem to forget (and which I think changes things a lot) is that Zarutsky was jailed for beating someone so badly they later died.

Then the question has to be whether Dmitrichenko knew this. Would an ex-con necessarily reveal the details of his convictions?

Filin's father-in-law has reacted angrily to the television program that aired last Saturday. In particular, he denies that he supplies anything to the Ministry of Internal Affairs--having been in the energy business--and by extension the inference that he would be in a position to influence the investigation. He is also upset that Saturday's show used footage from an earlier program in which the Filin-Prorvich family had agreed to participate. He states that the family had only agreed to the first program on the understanding that they would have complete editorial control, which was not ultimately given to them, and that they disapproved of its footage being recycled in a program that he claims was ordered by the people behind the attack on Filin in the first place, with the aim of influencing the investigation. He does not provide proof or name names.

http://argumenti.ru/.../2013/05/255395

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Ms Brown continues to monitor the situation closely and in her latest blog she quotes a letter from Filin's father in law expressing outrage at the editorial content of a TV programme he appeared in.

To me this sounds like an interesting piece of investigative journalism: Ms Brown of course puts a very different spin on things.

http://www.ismeneb.com/Blog/Entries/2013/5/23_TV_wars_as_Filins_father-in-law_claims_libel.html

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I saw the TV program online and it looked more like a typical piece of tabloid TV trash than investigative journalism. And with the way Sergei Filin and his family have continued to be attacked by some of Dmitrichenko's supporters I don't blame his father-in-law for being outraged and upset.

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In a report about the Benois gala the other night, Tatyana Kuznetsova related that when accepting his award for lifetime achievement, Pierre Lacotte paid tribute to Filin, but this was apparently greeted with fairly scant applause. I don't know who was in the audience that night; presumably not Bolshoi dancers, who would have been happy to have a night off between runs of Flames of Paris and Swan Lake. I also don't know how any language barriers were overcome. Kuznetsova related the contents of his speech, so either she understood the original, or some sort of translation was provided.

http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2193999

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It's somewhat heartening during all this to hear a comment like this. It's from Ivan Vasiliev, who left the company several years ago. He was asked about the Sergei Filin 'affair'.

“I can say nothing about this,” said Mr. Vasiliev, when asked if he had been aware of tensions and hostility during his time at the Bolshoi. “It’s not the ballet world, it’s criminal and something really terrible. Personally, I love the Bolshoi theater, it’s our alpha, how I started and part of my soul.”

http://www.nytimes.c...wanted=all&_r=0

(I'm not sure where I first saw this article, but thanks to whoever posted it)

[edited several times to get print size correct]

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What's not so nice are statements like this one from press secretary Katerina Novikova:

"In the context of our 237-year history, in two years' time, the acid attack will be a footnote in history but it's still very raw now."

How reassuring it must be to know that your theater regards your plight as a future footnote. What does that make Ms. Novikova?

"Unfortunately, it was a big blow, to the theatre and the country, since the theatre is Russia's calling card to the world. We still can't explain it and we don't know how it will end but the show must go on."

A big blow because it damaged the country's reputation? What about the lives and careers hanging in the balance?

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No, I think she's correct. The world's attention span is slight, and honestly most stopped paying attention back in February. This will indeed be a footnote in 2 years time in any articles written about the Bolshoi, just as Trotsky's assassination in Mexico is a footnote in Russian history. I don't think she's being trite, I think she's being honest about how dance historians and main stream media will regard the incidents in a few years' time.

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ITA with Jayne. It must be around 25 years since Mukhamedov seriously assaulted a female member of the audience inside the theatre, but how many people remember that today?

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I would think that what Ivan Vasiliev expressed also represents the opinion of many, perhaps most, of the Bolshoi artists as well as most individuals as to why they're in the art form, but this is just my opinion. What I'm trying to say is that it's a love of beauty and the art (and the environment that nurtures and supports it) that supersedes many of the other things that might be happening.

(Again, part of the quote: "Personally, I love the Bolshoi theater, it’s our alpha, how I started and part of my soul.”)

[second sentence added later -- and reworded]

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ITA with Jayne. It must be around 25 years since Mukhamedov seriously assaulted a female member of the audience inside the theatre, but how many people remember that today?

I had never heard about this in the first pace. Was it as generally publicized? Remnick wrote a full article about the attack on Filin in "The New Yorker," it was widely publicized in the Western mainstream press, reporting still goes on four months later, the Internet is in full bloom, with discussion boards, search tools, and translators, and a major English-language critic, Ismene Brown, has been following the story diligently providing translation of articles in the Rusian press and keeping readers alert to new ones via Twitter, just to give some examples of the current landscape.

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