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Former Moscow Theater Director To Be Transferred To House Arrest


Aleksei Malobrodsky attends a court hearing in Moscow on October 17.

A former director of Moscow's embattled Gogol Center theater, who is charged with embezzlement and fraud in a case that has sent a chill through Russian culture, will be transferred from pretrial jail to house arrest.

Russia's Investigative Committee said on April 25 that it had filed a request to a court to transfer to Aleksei Malobrodsky to house arrest due to "his age, health state, and other reasons."

Malobrodsky, who also used to lead the Seventh Studio group at the theater, was arrested in June 2017 -- about a month after Seventh Studio bookkeeper Nina Maslyayeva and former director Yury Itin were arrested.

Maslyayeva and Itin are also now under house arrest, as is prominent Gogol Center artistic director Kirill Serebrennikov.

Initially a witness in the case, Serebrennikov was charged in August 2017 with organizing the embezzlement of 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) allocated to Seventh Studio from 2011-14 for a specific project. He has since been under house arrest.

Serebrennikov had taken part in antigovernment protests and voiced concern about the increasing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church in the country.

Directors and actors in Russia and elsewhere, including ballet great Mikhail Baryshnikov, have expressed concern over the situation faced by the Gogol Center and have called for a transparent investigation.

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