Helene

Sergei Filin Attacked

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If someone is attacked, there are places investigators look: for personal connections and motives, for financial connections, to known critics or enemies, for prior acts against the target, for people who had something to gain from the attack, for the mode of attack among them. For example: Fidel Castro was a main suspect in the Kennedy assassination. The Soviet government was another. (Obviously not personally, but suspect as the instigator.)

Police investigate to eliminate suspects as much as to get an indictment. It's due diligence to go down a list of critics, and most are eliminated. Had Tsiskaridze been a professional critic, it's unlikely that he'd be considered for more than a cursary glance, just as when an athlete is assaulted, sports writers who've excoriated his performance aren't considered likely suspects.

If a known critic had already tried to depose someone through behind-the-scenes means and had something to gain by the attack, that would check off more than a few boxes. That a known critic is famous as well as self-promoting will get attention, part of the double-edged sword of fame. The people who shook his hand and said, "Thank you for saying what I think" are unlikely to be suspects, or for long, if they don't have other reasons to be suspected, but, investigators trying to be sure they've considered all possibilities try to broaden the list and put together connections that wouldn't be obvious without knowing who might have motive.

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One of the fascinating things about this story is the multiple populations that are following it -- we don't often see a dance story break into the general news stream, much less to the more sensational publications.

There's the dramatic aspect of an acid attack, although I think if Filin had been murdered that would be big news as well. One senses in the coverage a certain bemusement or puzzlement that Russians take ballet this seriously, that cultural matters are such a big deal anyone would actually consider the artistic director of a ballet company as a target for violent removal and/or retribution.

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What would be bad would be if Tsiskardze took the fall for someone else, the real culprit, just because it was so easy to go after Tsiskardze. There could be pressure to come up with a suspect. I still wonder why first we heard Filin was going to Brussels for treatment, but then he didn't go.. I hope the decision regarding his care really does have to do with avoiding travelling and not with a political necessity to affirm that the best doctors are in Russia.

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Russia has some very fine eye doctors and has led the world in lens transplant advances. But they are expensive nowadays, as Russia's socialized medicine really isn't available to everyone anymore.

Regarding Mr Tsiskaradze, I think he is the lightning rod that represents a very unhappy group at the Bolshoi. Like most people, he's right on the money on some issues, and overly melodramatic on other issues. Obviously whenever a new discovery (such as Smirnova) is cast for opening night, another diva isn't cast, and that is going to cause hurt feelings. I do think Tsiskaradze has received some professional rebukes in the past 2 months. First, his private letter was publicized when it was never meant to be - causing him tremendous embarassment. Second, he wasn't cast again until Orthodox New Year's Eve, and Filin then gave an interview essentially stating that this was purposeful, to teach him a lesson.

So, while Mr Tsiskaradze may have felt humiliated, he did not necessarily act on his actions. Someone else might have on his behalf. It could have been someone who is connected to his unhappy group, or it could have been an obsessed fan. The latter option certainly has happened in the past, think of John Hinkley Jr's decision to shoot Ronald Reagan in order to impress Jodie Foster.

I do think Mr. Tsiskaradze needs to lawyer up to protect his rights, and hire a better PR firm immediately, to put a more sympathetic picture out there.

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News today of Filin's progress:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk.news.worldnews.europe.russia/9837370/Bolshoi-director-able-to-read-first-four-lines-of-opticians-chart.html

The wife of the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet has said he can now read the first four lines of an optician's vision chart as the former dancer recovers his eyesight following a horrific acid attack.

Maria Prorvich, herself a member of the troupe, said that Sergei Filin was expected to undergo the latest of a series of operations on his eyes on Friday. "Fortunately, no more surgery is needed on his face," she added. "The doctors have looked and consider that the wounds are healing themselves."

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Thanks for latest upbeat news on Filin, MmeH.

re. Tsiskaridze being the object of the most talk and suspicion - Sadly, there is also the homophobic factor that still permeates Russian society, even though legal strides have been made in last 10 years. Russia is not yet a 'totally P.C. society.'

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Thanks for latest upbeat news on Filin, MmeH.

re. Tsiskaridze being the object of the most talk and suspicion - Sadly, there is also the homophobic factor that still permeates Russian society, even though legal strides have been made in last 10 years. Russia is not yet a 'totally P.C. society.'

I always thought that the public outing of Yanin that caused him to step down from his Bolshoi post was particularly disgusting given the medieval attitudes to homosexuality that permeate Russian society.

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Tsiskaridze being the object of the most talk and suspicion - Sadly, there is also the homophobic factor that still permeates Russian society, even though legal strides have been made in last 10 years. Russia is not yet a 'totally P.C. society.'

Oh, Natalia, if you think that some improvement happened in the last 10 years, look at information on homophobic laws already adopted in some Russian cities, incl. St.Petersburg. And the State Duma has already passed the first reading of such bill with only one person voting against it.

http://www.google.co...hN6WM0wWUxICgBQ

Many are afraid that it is just a beginning...

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... I do think Tsiskaradze has received some professional rebukes in the past 2 months. First, his private letter was publicized when it was never meant to be - causing him tremendous embarassment. Second, he wasn't cast again until Orthodox New Year's Eve, and Filin then gave an interview essentially stating that this was purposeful, to teach him a lesson.

December 31 is Tsiskaridze's birthday, and the role was the Nutcracker Prince - not that either matters re this investigation. However, the date and the role (minor compared to other heroic roles in his rep), might have mattered very much to him. Does this mean that he is the prime suspect as some publications are injudiciously implying? No.

So, while Mr Tsiskaradze may have felt humiliated, he did not necessarily act on his actions. Someone else might have on his behalf. It could have been someone who is connected to his unhappy group, or it could have been an obsessed fan. The latter option certainly has happened in the past, think of John Hinkley Jr's decision to shoot Ronald Reagan in order to impress Jodie Foster...

ITA with you here. It could be that someone with 'Annie Wilkes'/"Misery" issues is the culprit.

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Solo, I understand your concern about the new law but, if I'm reading this correctly, it is a ban against certain materials that can be seen by minors. Nothing wrong with keeping any adult material -- gay, straight, anything -- out of minors' hands, IMO. Hopefully, Russia has a similar law banning erotic-tinged heterosexual materials from minors...but I am guessing not, by the readily-viewable signs touting x-rated nightclubs in downtown St. Petersburg, such as Golden Dolls (yuk!).

The positive stride to which I refer is the decriminalization of homosexuality 10-15 years ago. Until fairly recently, one could be imprisoned in Russia just for being gay, showing gay tendencies, etc.

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Sergei Filin was interviewed for Newsweek Magazine:

http://www.thedailyb...ack-victim.html

Nothing, he said, will stop him from continuing his artistic work. Soon after the attack, the Bolshoi’s top dancers gathered around a computer to talk to their director on Skype. Filin called from the hospital right before the premiere of La Bayadère, his latest project. He told them how beautiful they were, “like gods,” and that “although I couldn’t see them this time with my two eyes, I would be watching them through the eyes of the thousands of spectators, enjoying the applause that would be loud enough to reach me here at the hospital.”

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Quote: “Nothing wrong with keeping any adult material -- gay, straight, anything -- out of minors' hands…

… The positive stride to which I refer is the decriminalization of homosexuality 10-15 years ago. ”

The very truth itself. You are absolutely correct, Natalia. The repeal in 1993 of the penal clause for buggery, as it was called in the law, was a formidable achievement of the Yeltsin’s era.

The new law, which they adopted now in several Russian cities and passed by the State Duma in the first reading, is a huge step back and dangerous for many reasons.

The first danger comes from its wording: it prohibits so-called propaganda of "sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors.” It falsely links being gay with being a paedophile. This wording indoctrinates the country’s population to believe that gays are child sex offenders, like paedophils.

Another danger is that its enforcement will be in the hands of the law enforcement officers and police where corruption is wide-spread. A wealthy criminal has a much better chance to get away with his sharp dealing than a modest person of ‘wrong’ orientation.

The misinterpretation and misuse of this law is already in evidence. The policemen decide on the spot who breaks this law. The arrests started when the people were protesting in front of the council building where the law was passed. A man was arrested for holding a poster ‘Same sex relationship is not perversion’. An independent attorney and straight married man was detained for joining the protest. A biology teacher was sacked for the same by his headmaster.

This could be more appropriate for some other forum. Sorry for writing about it at length. I did it because this Russian issue was mentioned in relation to a Russian dancer.

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I don't know what sexual orientation Tsiskaridze is, but if you're saying that he is being identified as a suspect because he is gay, and citing recent laws in support of your supposition, then while that may be true, there are too many other reasons for him to be one, if only to eliminate him, namely his vocal opposition and the petition he created to depose Iksanov and Filin.

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If you are addressing me, Helene, then I just replied in my post to what had been posted before.

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I'm trying to understand the connection between the law and the issue of homophobia in Russia to Tsiskaridze and/or the attack on Filin. If there's no explicit connection, I'll remove the discussion from this thread.

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The discussion about the cancellation of "The Rite of Spring" is here:

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A very encouraging news today from the leading information agency INTERFAX.

According to the Chief Physician of the Moscow hospital No. 36 A.Mitichkin, Sergei Filin feels well, is undergoing the completive treatment and is preparing for discharge from the hospital. The doctor added that ‘Sergei Filin hasn’t decided yet whether he will spend the night from Sunday to Monday at home or will travel to Germany immediately after his discharge from the hospital on Monday.’

http://www.interfax....s.asp?id=288339

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Filin says he is certain that he knows who is behind the attack on him:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment//arts//2131870

I don't expect you to name any names, but do you have an idea who could have done this?

Yes, I not only have a suspicion about who did this, but I'm absolutely certain I know who did this. But I will only speak about this when investigators are ready to announce this.

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Filin has gone to Germany for further treatment:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/europe/2139172

The Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director, badly injured in an acid attack last month, has left hospital in Moscow for further treatment in Germany.

Wearing sunglasses, a hat and a bandage under his neck, Sergei Filin told reporters he would feel "great, if only my eyes could see a bit better".

He will undergo treatment in Germany to try and save his eyesight.

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Last night's 'Rossiya24' TV newscast (Russian lang.) included an 8-minute piece on Filin's progress. The reporter conducted a one-hour interview with Filin, which will be shown in its entirety at a later date. Bits were shown last night, including the female reporter stating that Filin said that (as reported above in the BBC.co.uk piece, post 168) he knows exactly who is behind this and (new) that he is 'absolutely certain' that Tsiskaridze was not involved, and regrets that Tsiskaridze has been the object of so much suspicion in the local media.

IMO, from what I saw, Filin looks amazingly good, considering what he's gone hrough. His face was fully exposed and he is definitely recognizable, often showing a big smile. His entire head was covered by a white-mesh cap, similar to an old-style bathing cap.

Edited to add:

I found the bulk of the Rossiya24 segment on YouTube. Mention of what Filin told the reporter about Tsiskaridze at approximately the 7.10 mark :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhmczPa3lmc

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This story from AFP (in English) gives further clues, with Filin linking the attack on him with that against Gennadi Yanin a couple of years ago:

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/bolshoi-acid-victim-leaves-moscow-germany-075326253.html

From the above -

He linked the attack on him to the case of former Bolshoi ballet director Gennady Yanin, who in 2011 was forced to quit after a smear campaign in which photographs showing him apparently engaged in gay sex were posted on a website.

"I think it is quite a serious aftermath of the incident that happened with Genanady Yanin when he was at the Bolshoi Theatre," Filin said, saying he believed the attackers struck after failing to find similar compromising material on him.

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How great to see Fillin's progress and in such good spirits. Good for him and wishing him the fastest and fullest of recoveries.

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...IMO, from what I saw, Filin looks amazingly good, considering what he's gone hrough. His face was fully exposed and he is definitely recognizable, often showing a big smile. His entire head was covered by a white-mesh cap, similar to an old-style bathing cap.

I'm ITA with you. I was very worried that he would be permanently disfigured, but thankfully that isn't the case.

RT has also posted an update. Get well soon Sergei smile.png! http://rt.com/art-an...i-director-369/

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That's very good to hear and see that he is doing well. He looks much better than I anticipated. I am also happy to hear that he does not believe Tsiskaridze is involved, and is helping to clear his name. I think it seems fairly obvious that the attack on Yannin is probably by the same person, though Filin does not appear to be fading away in the same way Yannin did, as the attackers probably hoped.

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His face looks amazing for someone whose attacker tried to destroy him. Let's hope his eyesight continues to recover.

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