A Russian actor slashed his wrists in front of an audience in protest against the theatre firing its director for opposing the war in Ukraine.
Actor Artur Shuvalov announced to the audience at the theatre in Ulan-Ude, eastern Siberia, the show’s bosses had been ‘harassing’ him and withholding pay for supporting the previous director Sergei Levitsky.
Artur, who is said to be suffering from cancer, suddenly pulled a knife from his pocket and revealed his wife, who was also an actor in the show, has also been fired.
Proclaiming the theatre’s management team were ‘responsible’ for his death, he started slicing the knife across his wrists, MailOnline reports.
He said: ‘Throughout the year they have tried to fire me from the theatre, humiliate me, deprive me of work and money.
‘Today they signed a statement, they fired my wife Svetlana Polyanskaya.
‘I don’t want to put up with it. But I have no more strength and no more choice.’
He added: ‘I don’t want to hear that artists are “representatives of the oldest professions”.
‘And I believe that our audience is worthy of smart direction, and not as our artistic director says.
‘Please forgive me again. I’m tired. I have no more choice. I want to say just one thing: Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Dyachenko [artistic director], Natalya Nikolaevna Svetozarova [theater director], these people are to blame for my death.’
The audience watched in horror as other members of the cast rushed to try and help the actor.
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Artur was taken to hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.
Since the start of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin has imposed censorship laws against ‘discrediting Russian armed forces’.
A number of leading arts figures lost their jobs after criticising the war.
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