Rock star Vadim Samoilov dropped on Monday his slander lawsuit against music critic Artemy Troitsky, who called Samoilov "a trained poodle" of the Kremlin's propaganda mastermind Vladislav Surkov.
Samoilov, ex-member of local goth rock legends Agata Kristi and an associate of Surkov's, sought 1 million rubles ($33,000) in damages over the comment, made by Troitsky on Ren-TV in January.
But he dropped the lawsuit after a linguistics expert ruled that the "poodle" comment was criticism but not offensive, Troitsky's lawyer told Interfax.
Outspoken Troitsky was earlier separately sued by former police officer Nikolai Khovansky, whom he called "the worst cop of the year" in 2010. The critic was fined 10,000 rubles, but a criminal case against him over the same slight was dropped last week.