Kremlin calls Serebrennikov's case control over state expenditures
The Kremlin believes that the criminal case on embezzlement with Kirill Serebrennikov as a defendant in it, is not a manifestation of censorship, but "control over the expenditure of funds". "State money requires accounting," said Dmitry Peskov.
Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian President, said that the case on embezzlement of state funds allocated to producer company Seventh Studio, in which the main defendant is director Kirill Serebrennikov, was instituted in the framework of control over the expenditure of public funds, a correspondent of RBC reports.
"What is happening is control over the expenditure of funds. Those who use public money must meet the criteria of control and accountability," Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters, responding to a request to comment on how the Kremlin assesses what is happening to the director.
He also reminded that there were countries that did not engage in cultural support at the state level at all, but there were such countries as Russia, which are actively engaged in it. "State money requires accounting", Peskov stated.
He also noted that support of Serebrennikov by his colleagues was "quite comprehensible", but claimed that "probably, there is no point in associating this support directly with those questions that the investigation has for Serebrennikov".
The presidential press secretary also stressed that "no one can not name anyone guilty until the relevant court decision is adopted. It can only be done by the court" and suggested "not talking to the winds about any politicization and some kind of censorship", because "such thoughts are not appropriate".
"It is not about censorship. We have repeatedly talked on this subject, it is hardly worth discussing it in detail. Providing grants the state is entitled to identify certain topics that are of interest to the state. This should not be called a manifestation of censorship," said Dmitry Peskov.
Director Kirill Serebrennikov is suspected of organizing theft of 68 million rubles ($1.1m) from the state subsidy of 214 million rubles ($3.6m) allocated by the Ministry of Culture for the project on development and promotion of contemporary art called Platforma. For its implementation, the director created producer company Seventh Studio, to work of which he attracted other people, including Yuri Itin (ex-CEO of Seventh Studio) and Nina Maslyaeva (Chief Accountant), who are now also involved in this case and gave testimony, on the basis of which Serebrennikov was charged.
August 23 witnessed Moscow's Basmanny Court electing a measure of restraint for Kirill Serebrennikov in the form of house arrest until October 19.
Many cultural figures expressed their opinion in support of the director after the searches in Gogol Center and the detention of the director. Among them are the director of the Bolshoi Theater Yuri Urin, the president of the Solzhenitsyn Aid Fund, the writer's widow Natalia Solzhenitsyna, directors Avdotya Smirnova, Lev Dodin, Fyodor Bondarchuk, Alexei German, Konstantin Raikin, Andrei Smirnov, Alexei Popogrebsky, Alexei Mizgirev, artists Chulpan Khamatova, Evgeny Mironov, Valery Garkalin, Semyon Slepakov, Kseniya Rappoport, Victoriya Isakova, Sergei Svetlakov, Danila Kozlovsky, Liza Boyarskaya, Igor Vernik, journalists and others.
Recently, the FSB officers visited the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg. The operatives of the Department M came to the police officers accompanied by the investigator and the search warrant. They were looking for evidence on the fact of falsification of a criminal case. However, a similar situation for the Primorsky Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is more likely to be a regular show: the staff of the administration and its superiors have appeared in high-profile criminal cases as defendants far too often.