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Bolshoi Acid Attack: Dancer Paid Perpetrator
A leading dancer has admitted ordering an attack on the Bolshoi ballet chief, but said he did not mean for him to be splashed with acid.
Police say Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko paid 50,000 rubles (£1,080) to Yuri Zarutsky, who is accused of throwing a jar of acid at Sergei Filin.
The artistic director suffered severe burns to his eyes and face in the January 17 attack.
Dmitrichenko has faced a Moscow district court, where a judge decided to keep him in custody until April 18 - the end of the initial investigation period.
The 29-year-old dancer's two co-defendants, Zarutsky and alleged getaway driver Andrei Lipatov, were also in court.
Speaking from a cage, Dmitrichenko told the court he had complained about Mr Filin to Zarutsky, who offered to "beat him up".
He said did not mean for the attack to cause such bodily harm.
"I told Yuri Zarutsky about the policies of the Bolshoi Theatre, about the bad things going on, the corruption," Dmitrichenko said.
"When he said: 'OK, let me beat him up, hit him upside the head,' I agreed, but that is all that I admit to doing.
"It's not true that I ordered him to throw acid at Filin."
Police say Zarutsky bought the acid at an auto shop and they believe he then heated it to make it more concentrated.
Dmitrichenko, who was arrested on Tuesday, has also been shown in a police video confessing to planning the attack but "not on the scale" that it turned out.
And Lipatov insisted he just drove to where he was told and had no idea of what Zarutsky was planning.
Police have said the crime was motivated by Dmitrichenko's hostile personal relationship with Mr Filin.
The Russian press reported the Bolshoi chief refused to give Dmitrichenko's ballerina girlfriend Anzhelina Vorontsova top roles.
Dmitrichenko is said to have been particularly riled that Vorontsova was not allowed to dance the main Odette-Odile role in Swan Lake, the dream of any ballerina.
"The main motive was enmity towards Filin, who according to the suspect, had a negative attitude towards his partner," a police source told the Izvestia newspaper.
"Dmitrichenko said that Filin was thwarting Vorontsova's artistic career and did not give her the main roles."
Mr Filin, 42, was left battling to save his eyesight and prevent permanent facial disfigurement from the attack.
He is now undergoing a long rehabilitation in Germany.
Mr Filin's wife Maria told the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily that her husband had suspicions about Dmitrichenko but believed that a "much wider" circle of people were involved.
"Not just the three who they arrested. We hope the security forces unearth those who are implicated in this," she said.
Some staff at the Bolshoi Theatre have suggested that Dmitrichenko's actions are impossible to comprehend given his own career was on the up after he took the title role in the ballet Ivan the Terrible.
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