Moscow Court Seizes Director Serebrennikov's Property

A court in Moscow has ordered the seizure of property belonging to theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been charged with embezzlement in a case Kremlin critics say is politically motivated.

Basmanny district court spokeswoman Yunona Tsaryova told reporters on November 9 that the court froze bank accounts, containing $79,500 in rubles, dollars, and euros, and seized control of Serebrennikov's Moscow apartment and a car.

Serebrennikov is under house arrest, confined to the apartment.

He was charged in August with using fraud to organize the embezzlement of 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) in state funding allocated for a creative project.

The case has drawn international attention and prompted accusations that Russian authorities are targeting cultural figures who are at odds with President Vladimir Putin's government.

Serebrennikov has taken part in antigovernment protests and voiced concern about the increasing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has close ties to the state.

Putin has dismissed concerns about Serebrennikov's case, claiming on October 30 that it had nothing to do with politics.

Based on reporting by Rapsinews and Interfax