Kirill Serebrennikov. Photo: British Council Russia / Flickr.

Russian Government Confiscates Gogol Theater Director’s Passport

Kirill Serebrennikov, the director of Moscow’s Gogol Theater who was accused of embezzling government funds and whose ballet about Rudolf Nureyev was shut down by the Bolshoi Theater, has had his passport confiscated by Russian authorities, reports the Moscow Times. “I am stripped of my passport. I can’t leave anymore,” said Serebrennikov in an interview with a German newspaper last week. He might not be able to attend a production of Hansel and Gretel he’s directing in Stuttgart in September.

A request for details on Serebrennikov’s plight from the RBC news group to the Russian Interior Ministry has yet to be answered. Last Friday, the Interfax news agency spoke to an anonymous source close to the director who said that investigators took his passport in May during raids at his home and the Gogol Theater, events spurred by the embezzlement case. The source said investigators are claiming they need the passport to “establish its authenticity,” adding, “These investigative measures are just a pretense to keep the director from traveling abroad.”