Police hold 3 in acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet director

MOSCOW — Police officials in Moscow on Tuesday detained a dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet in connection with an acid attack in January on the company’s artistic director Sergei Filin, a crime that gripped Moscow and threatened to haunt one of Russia’s most revered institutions.

The announcement came after a burst of progress in the investigation that began early Tuesday morning. Before dawn, police also raided the homes of two suspected accomplices, both near a complex of summer cottages outside Moscow used by Bolshoi personnel. By evening, both suspected accomplices had been detained.

Early Wednesday morning, a spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry said that one of the three had confessed to the crime. ‘‘Therefore, we can consider that the crime has been solved,’’ the spokesman said, according to the Interfax news agency. The person who the police say confessed was not identified.


The dancer, Pavel Dmitrichenko, has danced at the ballet since 2002. Witnesses said he led police to his apartment in Moscow early in the morning.

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An official at Russia’s Investigative Committee told the Interfax news agency that investigators believe Dmitrichenko ordered the attack. The man believed to have thrown the acid at Filin was identified as Yuri Zarutsky. The third man detained, said to have driven Zarutsky to the scene of the attack, was named as Andrei Lipatov. All three have been detained for 48 hours.

Filin suffered burns to his face and eyes when someone in a mask approached him outside his apartment on Jan. 17 and flung a jar containing sulfuric acid at him.

New York Times