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Federal investigators launch probe into Moscow play that supposedly ‘offends veterans’

Source: Meduza

Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee, has ordered an inquiry into the Moscow Sovremennik Theater following allegations that a new play is offensive to veterans (which is no longer protected speech in Russia). In a press statement on Thursday, the agency said Bastrykin’s orders are related to complaints filed by “members of the public.”

The Investigative Committee doesn’t name the performance in question, but the probe likely surrounds “First Bread,” a play starring acclaimed actress Liya Akhedzhakova. Earlier this month, the radical conservative group “Officers of Russia” sent formal complaints to the offices of the Attorney General and Moscow mayor, accusing Sovremennik’s new play of offending veterans, containing excessive profanity, and “blatantly propagating same-sex love.”

Days after the play premiered, audience members reported that several obscenities disappeared from Akhedzhakova’s main monologue. Director Beniamin Kots later clarified that the change reflects a reversion to the show’s original script.

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