CHANNEL ONE, KOMMERSANT (Russia), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

MOSCOW – One of Moscow’s Bolshoi ballet leading soloists has confessed to being the mastermind behind an acid attack that nearly blinded the company's director, Sergei Filin in January.

According to a statement released by the Moscow police, Pavel Dmitrichenko, 28, was arrested together with two accomplices: Yuri Zarutsky, suspected of throwing sulphuric acid in Filin’s face; and Andrey Lipatov who is thought to be the driver of the getaway vehicle, Russian daily Kommersant reports.

"Yes, I organized this attack, but not to the extent that it occurred," Dmitrichenko, said Wednesday in a brief interview on Channel One, a state-run television station.

Pavel Dmitrichenko looking haggard after confessing to masterminding the Jan. 17 attack - Channel One screenshot

Although Dmitrichenko – who performed the lead role in Sergei Prokofiev's Ivan The Terrible – provided no further explanation as to his motives, the attack is thought to be related to Dmitrichenko's girlfriend, ballerina Angelina Vorontsova, who had clashed professionally with the ballet's director.

Sergei Filin’s face was left badly burned, and his eyesight severely damaged after a masked attacker threw sulphuric acid in his face on January 17 – opening a window into bitter infighting and rivalries inside the Bolshoi theatre, BBC News recalls.