Russia: Bolshoi Ballet director attacked with acid


Bolshoi Ballet chief Sergei Filin, 43, was about to arrive at his home around midnight Thursday when an unidentified attacker tossed acid in his face, causing severe burns to his eyes. State-run news agency RIA Novosti reports that he may lose his sight. He had been threatened repeatedly, prior to the attack. (Thanks, Aileen Graef)


  1. I read about this on the BBC. Apparently some of the nasty behavior of rival dancers and their fans are getting up there with European and Latin American soccer fans. 

      1.  Yeah, well. I must agree. Seems maybe they take it a little too seriously, nyet?
        Of course, I’m no Neanderthal myself… I watch TV stuff all the time.

      2. Still? Yes, in Soviet times things like ballet and theatre were hugely popular. But that’s because the alternative was watching TV to see the tractor driver with the highest quota. These days they have access to everything we have in the West.

        1. My understanding is that the Russian working class has been far more arts-oriented than the US working class. There was no television in the US prior to about 60 years ago, but I can’t really imagine US workers going to the ballet then.

  2. Unfortunately it takes regimented training to do ballet right. Nobody but the Russians are willing to subject sensitive artistic children to that kind of trauma, thought the Chinese approach it with their sports programs. That much pressure and disregard for anyone who fails to reach perfection is bound to cause trouble.

    While here in America inner city kids threaten their teachers with guns for not giving them A’s.

    1. Hmmm. I’m going to pull a ‘citation needed’ on the inner city kids threatening teachers with guns for not giving A’s, Also, though I am personally uncomfortable with the whole ‘extreme training of children’ thing found in some sports and arts programs, I’d need to be convinced it necessarily causes trouble.

        1. The first one is a college student, and from his photo, looks to be at least in his 20s. And it happened in Nashville. The second one involved a knife and was in Phoenix. Neither of them qualifies as ‘inner city’ or supports the racist subtext of your previous comment.

        2. “[…]policies don’t make you bullet proof, and I’m good with a [designated marksman rifle] up to 3.4 kilometers.”

          3.4 km?  Yyyeah… Sounds like an Internet Tough Guy who’s spent too much time playing Call Of Duty, since he clearly doesn’t know anything about rifles.

    2. While here in America inner city kids threaten their teachers with guns for not giving them A’s.

      You have weird fantasies.

    3. While here in America BLACK PEOPLE threaten their teachers with guns for not giving them A’s.

      Sorry, your subtly was too much.  I just wanted to make sure it didn’t slip by.  Black people threatening teachers for A’s is so totally common.  I heard from my kind of racist uncle who lives in the sticks that this pretty much happens all the time.

      1. That’s completely unfair!  Many of them are Hispanic, and probably illegal, because you know about those people.

      2. Funnily enough, I find your comment more apparently racist than that of the original poster… or, does “inner city” mean something really different in the US than just “inner” and  “city”? If yes, then that could rather indicate that racism is a fundamental building block of the structure of US society.

        1.  If yes, then that could rather indicate that racism is a fundamental building block of the structure of US society.

          See now you are getting the hang of it.

        2. It depends where and who you are. Growing up in a rural area, I always thought ‘inner city’ meant places like midtown Manhattan (downtown New York City); I later learned it euphemistically means ‘the impoverished, higher-crime part of the city’. One can ascribe higher crime to ‘inner cities’ because of  classism, racism, ignorance of city safety,  or just statistics (due to low population, my home town had one murder every five or six years vs every few days in a major city). It’s really not fair, absent other evidence to assume one is racist or classist.

          1. Thanks for explaining bkad. @gilbert and @bcsizemo – my naïveté sometimes gets out of its cage and runs wild – thanks for helping to catch it.

          2. “Inner city” has meant “black or hispanic” for at least 50 years. And when you combine it with a ridiculous anecdote about how those people pull guns on their teachers, it’s a racist stereotype.

          3. First of all, thanks, I did not know ‘inner city’ had a racist subtext. But I doubt that knowledge is universal, so I would never assume that someone who said ‘inner city’ meant non-white unless they gave some indication to that effect. 

          4. Especially when talking about school violence, it seems. “Inner city schools” invariably euphemistically refers to schools with low-income, largely minority, student populations (or “at risk” populations, if we want to use another queasy euphemism).

        3. In the US it is always a euphemism for high crime areas without white people.  Absolutely no one refers to the safe downtown part of a city as the “inner city”.  In fact, it always refers to a section of the city that isn’t the city center, but that is the poorer outlying part that is generally not white.  

          It tends to take on epic urban legend appeal and all manner of stories can be made up and ascribed to the mysterious and scary “inner city”.  You are not even burdened with having to name city or even part of the country.  You can just let your imagination do the walking.  Inner city people threatening their teacher with guns for As being TOTALLY a common thing is right up there with the one where if you flash your lights at someone who has their lights off, you just invited a gang to murder you as part of an initiation ceremony.

      3. Ok, I know I was the one that impolitely called for citations, but I have to switch sides for a moment to say the racism accusation is totally unfounded. 

  3. This is a type of cruelty I don’t understand. Sick sick sick. I can imagine wanting to kill someone. I never have been put to the test, but I can at least sympathize with that kind of anger. This acid throwing stuff I can’t even grasp; I don’t know how someone would brainstorm an idea like that, let alone want to do it. Though, it might cultural. I’m pretty well socialized to the idea of gun violence (and would much prefer to being shot to death than losing my vision in an acid attack). Google tells me acid attacks happen regularly in some parts of the world.

  4. nothing says “cowardly, psychopathic weakling” like an acid attack.  america has problems, our gun attackers are also cowardly weaklings, but a surprise acid attack?  on a freaking ballet director?  it makes the attacker look far worse than any disfigurement suffered by Filin.  it’s taken me twenty minutes to type this, i can’t even think straight.  jp fhogowdw ;w ;ow ;
    /keyboard mash

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