Investigators said on December 3 that the two elder Russian sisters who killed their father after years of abuse should face murder charges. The case involving three sisters, Krestina, Angelina and Maria Khachaturyan who stabbed their father, Mikhail to death in July 2018 had sparked outrage among the Russians who stood in support of the girls. They were all below the age of 19 at the time of the incident and the women were also called to receive psychological help instead of being sent to the prison.
There is no specific law against domestic violence in Russia and the activists have accused the authorities to neglect the abuse faced by the sisters who decided one day that they can not take it anymore. More than 2,00,000 signed an online petition in order to urge the prosecutors to drop the murder charges which can reportedly land the girls in prison for up to 20 years. However, Russia's Investigate Committee said in a statement after completing a probe into Mikhail's killing that it was recommending charges of premeditated murder against two older sisters, Krestina and Angelina who are now 21 and 19 respectively.
The investigation also established that the sisters had stabbed their father with a knife and then beat him with a hammer causing fatal injuries. According to the investigators, the two older sisters were of sound mind and aware of their actions at the time of the attack which is being cited with 'mitigating circumstances'. Moreover, the authorities have also recommended the younger sister, Maria to enter mandatory psychiatric care. On the other hand, the activists and lawyers claim that the teenagers were forced to act violently in order to save their lives and indicate insufficient legal protects for victims of abuse.
A lawyer for Angelina told an international agency that the case should not go to trial because the sisters 'used reasonable force in self-defence'. However, another lawyer for Krestina said that the case is more likely to go in the trial despite the protests and campaigns in their defence. All three sisters now live in separate homes and are prohibited to communicate with each other. Russia decriminalized all types of domestic violence except the gravest types in 2017 and reportedly the police does not intervene even in some of the most severe cases. Therefore, women activists believe that the recent announcement by the investigators is a piece of evidence that the authorities still continue to be reluctant to address the domestic violence.