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Russian suspect detained after arson attacks against last tsar film

From Reuters - September 23, 2017

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court ordered the detention of a man on Saturday on suspicion of trying to intimidate cinemas into not showing a new film about the countrys last tsar, Russias news agencies said.

Police said earlier they had opened a criminal case following a series of arson attacks in protest over the film Matilda by award-winning director Alexei Uchitel.

The film tells the story of a love affair between the tsar, Nicholas II, and half-Polish ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya, who described the relationship in her memoirs.

Interfax cited the courts spokeswoman as saying the man detained was Alexander Kalinin, leader of a radical religious group called Christian State - Holy Rus, on suspicion of pressuring the cinemas not to screen the movie. The court ordered that he be held in custody until Nov. 22, without charge.

Christian State vowed to set cinemas on fire if they screened Matilda and a series of arson attacks connected with the film have been reported across the country.

Matilda is to be released internationally in late October despite protests from religious conservatives who are offended by what they regard as a disrespectful depiction of a man the Russian Orthodox Church regards as a martyr.

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