On January 19 journalist Anastasia Baburova’s friends, colleagues, and like-minded people commemorated the anniversary of her murder by antifascist march. On January 19, 2009 in downtown Moscow neo-Nazis killed the famous Russian lawyer Stanislav Markelov and talented young journalist of Novaya Gazeta, student of Moscow State University, born in Sevastopol Anastasia Baburova. This date became the starting point for the mass campaign against neo-Nazi terror in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and many other countries.
The Day maintains regular and close contact with Anastasia’s mother Larysa Baburova since the day of the tragedy. Larisa Baburova told The Day that antifascists in Sevastopol commemorated the memory of Anastasia Baburova and Stanislav Markelov, killed four years ago not far from the Kremlin, with a march and a rally. Young residents of Sevastopol who call themselves Marxists, anarchists, and members of leftist organizations participated in the march. Anastasia’s father Eduard Baburov and her mother Larysa Baburova met with the participants of the march, listened to their words of sympathy and support, expressed their gratitude for remembering Anastasia.
Larysa Baburova told that Sevastopol antifascists marched along the main streets of the city to the Memorial of the heroic defense of Sevastopol in 1941-42 on Nakhimov Square, where the meeting took place. During the procession, the participants carried the banner that read “Hero City against Nationalism,” chanted “Our Homeland is All Humanity,” “Together against Fascism,” “No one is Forgotten, Nothing is Forgotten,” “No to Fascists of all Sorts from Gangsters to Officials.” As a part of the anti-fascist march its participants distributed leaflets calling not to be tolerant of murders motivated by ethic hatred, xenophobia, and intolerance. People participating in the march denounced the Ukrainian nationalism, Russian chauvinism, and Islamic nationalistic movements, regional and domestic manifestations of nationalism.
Parents of Anastasia Baburova think that city authorities took, to say the least, a strange position on that day. First, Sevastopol city administration filed a lawsuit to ban the march in memory of their daughter. The court hearing took place in the late evening of January 18. The court decided to dismiss the claim of the city administration and allowed the march of young antifascists in Sevastopol.
Then city officials did all they could to disrupt the first festival of the anti-fascist films, which was planned by members of Marxist organization that names itself “Red Guard of Spartacus.” Anastasia Baburova’s mother told The Day that they personally wrote to the director of the film about their daughter Please Love Me Valerii Balaian and he promptly sent a fax to Sevastopol explaining the situation and giving personal permission to show the film. But this did not help.
Leader of the “Red Guard of Spartacus” Mykhailo Molotov told reporters: “In a private conversation with me Natalia Datsiuk, head of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Sevastopol, said that the SBU strictly warned them. Officials got so scared and began to search for an excuse to stop the screening. Yesterday they demanded the personal approval of Valerii Balaian. It was received by fax. Today, the chief engineer of the Sevastopol film service, deputy director of ‘Moscow’ cinema said that he did not have the letter I sent back in December, 2012 to the Department of Culture and Tourism. These are clearly bureaucratic methods of disrupting events. From now on we will never again work with state officials, instead we will make arrangements for screenings with private individuals.”
Residents of Sevastopol, parents, colleagues, and friends of Anastasia Baburova are perplexed: all these restrictions and obstacles created by the local authorities suggest that the authorities of the Hero City of Sevastopol, which once strongly suffered from the hands of the Nazis, do not have any intension to deal with reviving fascism and have practically sided with Fascists. Officials, who are you with?
However, the anti-fascist film festival will still take place in the city. Its organizers – members of the NGO “Red Guard of Spartacus” announced that they plan to show the film on April 20, 21, and 22 in cinema complex “Lukomorie” in Sevastopol. Five films will be presented at the festival. Film by Valerii Balaian Please Love Me dedicated to Anastasia Baburova will close the festival.