Wednesday, January 17, 2018

EXTENDED: Russian Director Continues Detention

Kirill S. Serebrennikov. Photo: Maxim Shipenkov/European Pressphoto Agency  
The New York Times reports today that Russian director Kirill S. Serebrennikov has had his house arrest extended again as State prosecutors marshal their forces to prosecute him for allegedly embezzling the equivalent of $2.3 million. The Ministry of Culture is asking to be compensated that amount should Serebrennikov be found guilty. Russian President Vladimir V. Putin is quoted in the Times as having said in December, “If this were a persecution, not a prosecution, his performance wouldn’t have been staged at the Bolshoi.” The performance to which Putin refers is Serebrennikov's recent production of Nureyev, the gay ballet dancer who defected from the Soviet Union.

According to the article by Oleg Matsnev, Serebrennikov has staged plays featuring nude actors and touching on socially divisive issues of sexuality and politics. Speaking in court on Tuesday,  Serebrennikov said that his accountant at Seventh Studio, Nina L. Maslyaeva, who has turned State’s witness in the case, had falsely accused him and four colleagues of theft.

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