The detention of Kirill Serebrennikov, an award-winning director, prompted an outcry among the country's liberal cultural elite who said the director was being persecuted for his work which lampooned what he saw as the pernicious role of the church and state in Russian society. Investigators accused Serebrennikov, art director at Moscow's avant-garde Gogol Centre theatre, of leading a criminal group and of embezzling at least 68 million roubles ($1.15 million) in state funds, a charge he denied.
"Now to celebrate," Serebrennikov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying after the court ruling to release him from house arrest where he has been since Aug. 23, 2017. "I will be back soon. This is not very easy psychologically, but there is a lot to do. We have plays, rehearsals," he said. (Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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