Internationally Renowned Director Kirill Serebrennikov Charged in Russia

Alexander J. Segal's picture

In what appears to be a new instance of politically motivated prosecution in Russia, the Associated Press reported that Russian investigators have detained internationally renowned director Kirill Serebrennikov on charges of embezzling government funds provided for his productions [link]1. Despite his productions having garnered state funding, Serebrennikov has been a target of many Russian politicians for his social views and activism. The article notes that a new ballet about dancer Rudolf Nureyev produced by Serebrennikov that was slated to debut last month was cancelled. Although the reason was ostensibly unclear, the ballet's depiction of Nureyev's gay relationships was controversial among many in power in Russia and likely led to the cancelation.

As always, it is important to shine light on instances of political oppression in Russia. Fortunately, the eyes of the international art world will be on the Serebrennikov proceedings. We will follow major developments in the case going forward. For more posts on similar issues, please see a couple of our past blogs on political oppression and the plight of LGBT individuals in Russia:

Russian Opposition Figure Vladimir Kara-Murza Gives Interview After Surviving Poisoning for the Second Time [see blog]
No Love From Russia — If You're Gay [see blog]


  1. Isachenkov, Vladimir. Nataliya Vasilyeva. “Detention of Famous Director Upsets Russia's Artistic World.” Associated Press. Aug. 22, 2017.
Internationally Renowned Director Kirill Serebrennikov Charged in Russia