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3 Arrested for Bolshoi Acid Attack Sign Confessions

The three men detained for suspected involvement in the acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin have signed confessions and been taken into custody, police said Wednesday.

"At the current time all three have signed confessions and have been placed under arrest," police said in comments carried by RIA-Novosti on Wednesday.

Police have also determined that the motive behind the Jan. 17 attack was "personal animosity connected with work activities," and named solo dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko as the mastermind, the BBC's Russian service reported.

Dmitrichenko, a top dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet currently performing the lead role in Sergei Prokofiev's "Ivan the Terrible," was arrested along with two others Tuesday in connection with the high-profile attack.

A source with links to the Bolshoi troupe told The Moscow Times on Tuesday that Dmitrichenko was in a relationship with dancer Angelina Vorontsova, a protege of Nikolai Tsiskaridze, who was struggling with Filin for influence in the theater. Tsiskaridze, according to the source, did not order the attack but may have "inspired" it.

The other two suspects, Yury Zarutsky and Andrei Lipatov, are accused of carrying out the attack on Dmitrichenko's request.

Zarutsky, who has previous convictions, is suspected of throwing the sulfuric acid in Filin's face and was picked up by authorities in the Rameshkovsky district of Tver on Tuesday.

Lipatov is alleged to have acted as the getaway driver after taking Zarutsky to the site where Filin was attacked.

Katerina Novikova, a spokeswoman for the Bolshoi Ballet, told the BBC's Russian service that Dmitrichenko's arrest wouldn't affect the ballet troupe, as someone else would be found to replace him. The next ballet Dmitrichenko is scheduled to perform in is "Sleeping Beauty," on March 16.

Novikova said that Filin would likely come back to work in the summer during the theater's upcoming tour in London.

Filin has returned to Moscow after having undergone cosmetic treatment in Germany for third-degree burns to his face.

He has undergone a number of surgeries on his face and eyes and may still need a few more, though it is not clear whether his eyesight will be fully restored.

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