Anastasia Baburova’s Parents Speak Out

In commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the terrible murder of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, RFE/RL speaks with the parents of the latter about their fears for her safety at the time, on the growing problem of fascism, and how they see things in Russia today.

RFE/RL: Eduard Fyodorovich, a year has passed now. What is your view of the situation inside Russia? Has it changed over the last year?

Eduard Baburov: Before our daughter was killed we had no idea of what was going on in Russia. It wasn’t until after the murder that we began reading and were horrified to learn how developed fascism is. We have the impression that this process is already beyond control and the authorities can’t do anything about it now. This ideology of Nazism, of fascism, has grown up from the grassroots to the very highest levels.

Larisa Baburova: It is surprising that the government of Russia, the president, doesn’t acknowledge any of this. Neither do the police. They saw this danger. They knew what was being threatened. Nastya, on January 13 [2009], wrote us a farewell letter. We only read it on January 15, as things turned out. We didn’t know anything then, and I was horrified when I read it. I thought — what is this? Is our daughter saying goodbye to us?

The next letter she wrote was, you know, a little embarrassed. As if she was embarrassed about the previous letter. That is, she had been threatened and, apparently, threatened very seriously. Then a day passed and nothing happened and she wrote us a letter — the embarrassed one. And we read it and we didn’t understand that one at all either. And then, suddenly, on the 19th, she was killed.