1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Russia detains top theater director over alleged fraud

August 22, 2017

Film and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov is renowned for his bold productions criticizing conservative figures of power in Russia. He has now been arrested on suspicion of committing massive fraud.

Kirill Serebennikov
Image: picture alliance/dpa/B. Weissbrod

Russian director Serebrennikov detained

Russia's Investigative Committee said Tuesday that it has detained top theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov on suspicion of embezzling at least 68 million rubles (over $1 million) of state funds over three years.

Known for bold productions that poke fun at Russia's growing social conservatism, Serebennikov's production for the legendary Bolshoi Theater was canceled last month just three days before its sold-out world premiere. The piece focused on the life of the famous gay Russian dancer of the same name. 

In May, the theater director's apartment as well as the Gogol Center, the Moscow theater he founded, was raided after he was accused of having misappropriated millions in state funds.

Read more: Homophobia at the Bolshoi? Russian theater cancels ballet about gay romance

Theater director Kirill Serebrennikov detained: Emily Sherwin from Moscow

Prominent cultural figures considered the raid politically motivated, as payback from the Kremlin for his satire of Russian conservative officials.

Serebennikov has denied any wrongdoing.

Read more: Russian star Khamatova discusses dissident director

eg/kbm (AP, AFP)