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“A secret service agent can't be the head of state”: Theater director Kirill Serebrennikov on Putin

Theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov has shared in an interview to Yury Dud that he never voted for Vladimir Putin:

“A secret service agent can't be the head of state. Secret services aren't concerned with an individual's development. They act on the premises that an individual can be bought, recruited, killed... As for, developing, investing money, educating... I never had any illusions about this president and never voted for him.”

He admitted the possibility that he may never return to Russia.

“I don't have a positive scenario of what could happen next. Sadly, all of this could remain unchanged for a very long time. I wish I had something reassuring to say to myself, to you, our audience. But I don't think I can. All of this could go on forever.”

The director also shared that billionaire Roman Abramovich pain the 129-million ruble (~$2.2 million) fine imposed on the director in the fabricated embezzlement case against him because Serebrennikov did not have this amount:

“He didn't do it personally. There were people, some sort of affiliated organizations because I certainly don't have this kind of money, never had, and probably never will.”

To the interviewer's final question about the source of strength, Serebrennikov cited the case of Alexei Gorinov, a municipal deputy from Moscow who has been sentenced to seven years in a penal colony for “spreading fake information” on the activities of Russian troops:

“Strength lies in people like Alexei Gorinov, who got seven years in jail for calling the war what it is. He is a strong man. The words he said and the courage with which he faced his sentence – this is where strength lies.”

In 2012, Kirill Serebrennikov headed the Nikolai Gogol Moscow Drama Theater and announced his plans to transform it into the Gogol Center, an avant-garde theater and cultural space which would soon become one of the highlights of Moscow’s theater life. In June 2020, following 18 months of house arrest, he was sentenced to three years of suspended sentence in the case of embezzlement at the Seventh Studio, his previous project. According to the prosecution, the defendants (Seventh Studio management) had embezzled 128 million rubles from the government funding allocated to the Platforma project. In February 2021, Serebrennikov confirmed his resignation from the post of the Gogol Center's artistic director. On June 20, he commented on the news about the Gogol Center changing hands and ceasing to exist:

“They are closing down a living theater. With full houses every night. With a following. With a unique repertoire. A world-renowned theater. A theater for people. As founders, they are acting within their rights. However, from the artistic perspective, it’s not just an act of sabotage; it is murder. Yet another ordinary murder. So please remember it for what it is. DEUS CONSERVAT OMNIA.”

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