Police arrested the director and choreographer of the world-famous Kirov Ballet and accused them Monday of taking bribes totaling millions of dollars.
Anatoly Malkov, director of the 212-year-old company, was arrested in his offices Friday while accepting a $10,000 bribe from a Canadian seeking the rights to organize a tour, officials said.
Oleg Vinogradov, the ballet’s chief choreographer for the last 18 years, was arrested later.
Police were tipped off by the Canadian businessman and marked the money intended for the bribe.
Police found $150,000 in cash during a search of Malkov’s office, he said.
Investigators said the company’s leaders made bribe-taking an everyday practice in dealings with foreign partners. They usually asked for money to organize a tour, then would extort more by threatening to cancel the performances, authorities said.