Acid attack followed protection plea by Bolshoi Ballet director

MOSCOW — Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director who was severely burned last week when acid was thrown in his face, said in an interview published Tuesday that he asked the theater’s general director for protection in mid-December after receiving threats but was refused and told instead to ‘‘be brave and find the strength within yourself to not react to these threats.’’

Filin, who spoke to the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, also said he blamed himself for not taking the threats seriously enough and said he had turned down an offer of a driver and bodyguard, although he did not say who made the offer. Filin, who suffered third-degree burns on his face and eyes, is at risk of losing some of his eyesight.


Galina Stepanenko, a principal dancer with the company, was named acting artistic director Tuesday.

Filin said he believed that he was attacked because of his work at the ballet company and that investigators had a good chance of identifying his assailant.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

‘‘When everything is going well, that may also displease someone,’’ Filin said, when asked whether the attack was planned by someone within the company.

New York Times

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of