Police in Russia are investigating possible links between violent attacks on two of the city’s most accomplished musicians. Gregory Tsai, an ethnic Korean who plays with the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, was stabbed in the stomach and had his hands slashed by thieves who stole his violin near his home on Sunday evening.
Just hours later fellow musician Denis Shulgin was left with a fractured skull after a similar assault.
Orchestra Director Grigory Kovalevsky said: “The first attack was, for sure, racially motivated, and the second was plain and simple robbery. They took his instrument, his evening dress, credit cards, money, everything.”
Officers are looking at a number of theories.
“This case is being investigated by our top detectives. For now we have three possibilities; the stealing of an expensive musical instrument; internal conflict in the orchestra, and, possible rivalry between different musical collectives of the city,” said a police official.
The authorities have played down claims of racial motivation for either attack, saying there are no grounds to suggest this is the case. Both men are said to be in a stable condition in hospital.