Trial of Kirill Serebrennikov begins

The trial of acclaimed theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov has begun in Moscow. Serebrennikov is accused of fraud and has been under house arrest for over a year.

In July 2017 Serebrennikov’s new ballet Nureyev was due to open at the Bolshoi Theatre. It was unexpectedly cancelled, with Serebrennikov then placed under arrest, accused of embezzling more than €2m from another arts project. The ballet then opened in a revised form in December 2017.

Many have speculated his trial is politically motivated. Not only is Serebrennikov a critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin, but Nureyev was thought to include depictions of homosexuality.

Since his arrest Serebrennikov has remotely directed a production of Così fan tutte at Opernhaus Zürich and his latest film Leto premiered at Cannes Film Festival.

Under questioning Serebrennikov stated that he had no involvement with the financial side of the project in question, titled Platforma, which ran from 2011-14. The trial continues.