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Russia's Bolshoi Acid Attack Victim Unable to Forgive Attackers

The artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet, appearing in court in dark glasses, said Wednesday he did not forgive the assailants who almost blinded him in an acid attack and demanded more than $100,000 in damages.

In his first appearance at the trial of three people over the Jan. 17 attack, which exposed bitter rivalries at one of Russia's great cultural institutions, Sergei Filin did not look toward the courtroom cage where the defendants sat.

"I immediately felt very strong pain," Filin told the Moscow courtroom, describing the attack near his Moscow apartment. "My eyes dimmed. I have never felt such pain in my life. I would not like to speak of how I was falling, crawling in the dirt."

He demanded moral damages of 3 million rubles ($92,200) and 508,000 rubles to compensate for material damages.

The defendants include Pavel Dmitrichenko, a dancer at the Bolshoi Theatre, and could face up to 12 years in jail if convicted of organizing and staging the attack.

Dmitrichenko only briefly looked at Filin in court and spent much of the time going through papers.

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