This is Russia, this is Moscow, this is fascism
Letter from the parents of slain journalist Anastasia Baburova to those who ordered and organized their daughter’s murder
It has been a year since on 19 January 2009 on Prechistenka St in the centre of Moscow and in broad daylight you killed our daughter Anastasia Baburova, freelance journalist for “Novaya gazeta”, together with human rights defender Stanislav Markelov.
It was a contract killing. You who ordered it needed to show that you are the bosses in the country. You therefore thought up that brazen killing during the day in the centre of Moscow in the presence of numerous witnesses as a demonstration of your strength, power and impunity.
The need arose to select a killer. There you remembered Markelov’s relations with N. Tikhonov over previous court cases. According to the results of the investigation, as is now clear, no other candidate proved required. Agreement was reached.
If the killer had merely had a personal score to settle with Markelov, without carrying out your contract, he would have committed his dark deed far from people, without witnesses, usually near a gateway.
That option didn’t suit you. You needed to demonstrate that you can do everything. Doubtless, at the time of the killing there was a car on Prechistenka St with the client’s representative watching over the contract’s completion.
The killer is convinced that you won’t let him down. He knows that even if he gets the maximum sentence, that he’ll soon be freed. You have your people everywhere. You hope to come to power soon.
The combination of the ideologies of patriotism and fascism is increasingly permeating all layers of Russian society from below upwards. Neo-Nazis are now in the law enforcement agencies, in bodies of power and legislative structures. There is a real chance that fascists will come to power. You are preparing yourself a road to power, using weapons against unarmed anti-fascists and human rights defenders. After receiving real power, you’ll declare the present killers national heroes and therefore they’re convinced of their impunity.
We are in no doubt that the murderers of our daughter and Stanislav Markelov have been arrested. There is a method for identifying killings, the accuracy of which is as accurate as with fingerprints.
The murders are now retracting their evidence and claiming that they don’t belong to nationalist organizations, that they didn’t kill anybody, and that they killed our Nastenka only because “that was how things turned out”. In that way they want to reduce their liability in order to get a shorter sentence.
Yet our daughter already knеw on 13 January 2009 that she would be killed. On that day she emailed us a farewell letter although she didn’t directly say that she would be killed.
It was terrifying to even think that she could be murdered. We read the letter on 15 January and on 19 January Nastya was killed.
We turn to those who ordered and who organized the killing. Everybody understands that you won’t stop with this murder. After all you want to establish yourselves in the country and come to power precisely though such radical methods. When you plan the next murder of a journalist or human rights defender, at least find out the identity of these people. Maybe you will just understand that these people are looking further than you and that they could bring only good to the country, while you with your murders can bring Russia only international shame and condemnation.
Imagine yourselves in the place of the parents of those who you are planning to murder. What would you feel if your children were slain on the street with bullets in the back of the skull. A very familiar trademark, is it not? You the clients know it well!
Tell parents that you’ll kill their children and the parents will get their children out of your way. But it’s simpler for you to put a bullet in those children. Strong armed guys demonstratively gun down a defenceless girl. What do you say? This is Russia, this is Moscow, this is fascism
We’re told that we can be proud of our little girl. She didn’t tremble before a hefty killer with a pistol in his hand and tried to stop him.
You who ordered the killing don’t know who you killed. Human rights defender Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova were unrelenting fighters for the honour, freedom and greatness of Russia. They proved that through their life, and through their death. They were educated and highly talented people. Our Earth seldom, very seldom gives birth to such children. Our Nastenka’s main features were an unquenchable desire for knowledge combined with the qualities of an untiring toiler, and intense sense of the need to defend the downtrodden and dispossessed. It was this last feature which brought her to journalism.
You murdered a Russian girl whose grandfather, Captain Fyodor Baburov, from the Smolensk region, fell in World War II fighting the fascist occupiers. Nastya’s second grandfather, Ivan Glotov, as an 18-year-old sailor in 1942 fought off Nazi attacks at the last defence line of Sevastopol. And their granddaughter, a journalist, student of Moscow State University, 67 years later in a time of peace, was killed by Neo-Nazis in the centre of Moscow near the Kremlin for showing no tolerance of fascists.
That means fascism has not been conquered, it has penetrated into Russia and is rapidly spreading. This has become uncontrollable.
The investigators have done a huge amount of work in finding the killers. However it is considerably harder to identify their clients. They can hold a high position in the country.
Yet all that is secret will one day be revealed. And even if your names become known only after your death, eternal shame will still be on your heads and on your names.
May you be forever accursed!
E.F. Baburov, L.I. Baburova
18 January 2010