'The only reason for closing the musical Nord-Ost is the terrorist attack and the damage that it caused,' announced Georgy Vasiliev, producer and one of the writers of the musical, at a press conference today. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, Mr Vasiliev said that surveys had been carried out in December 2002 which showed that 54% of those who had planned to see the show had changed their mind after the terrorist attack. 'The sociologists calmed us down by adding that a similar number of people had actually decided to watch the musical as a result of the terrorist attack,' Mr Vasiliev said. 'However, after the initial hype these people obviously changed their mind.' The musical kept going through February and March 2003 thanks to Sberbank and the city administration which bought the tickets for all the performances. However, there are no longer enough funds to keep Nord-Ost running and May 10 has been set as the final performance. By the time the show closes there will have been 410 performances of the musical since it opened. 'No other Russian piece has been shown so many times in the space of 15 months,' Mr Vasiliev concluded confidently.
Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Russia, Lubos Vesely, was among 20 diplomats, who were expelled from the Russian Federation