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Russian Party Leader Calls For Serebrennikov's Release From House Arrest


Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov (file photo)

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in Russia, has asked the Russian Investigative Committee to seek the release of acclaimed director Kirill Serebrennikov from house arrest, Russian news media reported on September 8.

In a letter to Committee Chairman Aleksandr Bastrykin, media reported that Zhirinovsky said the arrest caused a big public reaction and he appealed to the committee to ask the Moscow City Court to alter the "measure of restraint" on Serebrennikov, releasing him from house arrest and instead order him not to leave Moscow.

Zhirinovsky and his party are nominally in the opposition but back President Vladimir Putin on most key issues.

He is one of several prominent Russians with Kremlin ties who criticized aspects of the case against Serebrennikov.

Serebrennikov, 47, is artistic director of the Gogol Center theater in Moscow and founded a dramatic collective called Seventh Studio.

He was detained on August 22 and could be sentenced to 10 years in prison if tried and convicted on fraud charges he has dismissed as unfounded and absurd.

Some 1,300 young artists and other cultural figures have signed a petition in support of Serebrennikov, who investigators accuse of embezzling at least 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) in state arts funding.

The Moscow court previously rejected Serebrennikov's appeal for release on bail on September 4.

It said it would allow him to leave his home only for two-hour walks each day. He was ordered to remain under arrest until October 19.

Based on reporting by RBC.ru, Meduza.io, and Rusreality.com
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