(Nataliya Vasilyeva’s and Lynn Berry’s article appeared via the Associated Press, 1/18.)
MOSCOW (AP) — A masked assailant threw acid at the artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet in an attack that colleagues said Friday could be in reprisal for his selection of dancers in starring roles at the famed Russian company.Sergei Filin, a 42-year-old former Bolshoi star, said a man threw the acid into his face late Thursday near the gate of his apartment building in central Moscow. The attacker wore a hood and either a mask or a scarf, so only his eyes were visible, he said."I got scared and I thought he was going to shoot me," Filin, his face covered with white bandages, told REN TV. "I turned around to run, but he raced ahead of me."Colleagues said Filin could be left partially blind.The Bolshoi's general director, Anatoly Iksanov, said he believes the attack was linked to Filin's work."He is a man of principle and never compromised," Iksanov said on Channel One state television. "If he believed that this or that dancer was not ready or was unable to perform this or that part, he would turn them down."Filin knew that someone was threatening him or trying to undermine his position, Iksanov said. He said Filin's car tires had been slashed earlier in the week and that he was targeted this month by hackers who posted his professional correspondence online.