Renowned theatre director Eugene Lavrenchuk has been arrested in Italy and detained in a pre-trial detention center due to an investigation demanded by Russia. This is reported on the Facebook group Free Eugene Lavrenchuk! with the permission of the artist’s family and close friends.

According to this information, Lavrenchuk was detained on December 17 last year on charges of “financial irregularities” he allegedly committed in Russia eight years ago.

According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko, Lavrenchuk was provided with a lawyer. Ukrainian consuls are clarifying the reasons for the detention. It is now known that a court in Naples selected a preventive measure for the Ukrainian citizen in the form of detention while a Russian extradition request is being considered.

Eugene Lavrenchuk is a Ukrainian theatre director, Shevchenko Prize nominee, author of the methodology of teaching acting and directing. He worked in Russia, in particular founded the Polish Theatre in Moscow.

In 2014 he left Russia due to political convictions. Since then he has been active in Europe, particularly in Poland and Ukraine.

Eugene Lavrenchuk was chief director of the Odesa National Opera and Ballet Theatre until spring 2021. He became a rector of the First Ukrainian School of Theatre and Cinema in Odesa. He was the director of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.