New Play in St. Petersburg about the Murder of Anti-Fascist Activist Timur Kacharava

Source: (info), 12/12/11

· Human rights education  · Racism & xenophobia  · St Petersburg & Leningrad region

On 12 and 13 December St. Petersburg’s Baltic House theatre is putting on a new play, Antibodies, as part of a project called ‘Documentary Theatre in St. Petersburg’. The play is about the 2005 killing of the anti-fascist activist Timur Kacharava.

The play’s text is made from actual interviews with Timur’s mother and his girlfriend, and also with others including the mother of the person convicted of his murder, the investigator, leaders of leftwing and rightwing groups, and witnesses of the killing. These are the real fates of real people that make up the living tapestry of the play Antibodies, Rosbalt News Agency reports.

According to the creators of the play, the authors’ focus is not so much a history of extremism in Russia as an attempt to answer a number of philosophical questions. Is an idea worth a human life? What are the roots of violence? Why as a society are we becoming more aggressive and at the same time more indifferent?

On 13 November 2005 at about 19:00 on Uprising Square (Ploshchad Vosstaniya) in St. Petersburg, a number of skinheads, armed with knives, attacked Timur Kacharava and Maksim Zgibai. Timur died from six knife wounds to the neck. Maksim, who managed to run into a shopping centre, was hospitalized in a critical state with concussion and a wound to his chest.

In December 2005 seven murder suspects were arrested. In 2007 a court sentenced four of the attackers to between 2 and 12 years in prison; three were given suspended sentences. One of the attackers, Aleksandr Shabalin, was convicted of murdering Timur Kacharava and wounding Maksim Zgibai with a knife. He was sentenced to 12 years in a strict regime penal colony under Article 105 (murder) and Article 282 (inciting ethnic, racial or religious hatred) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. All the attackers were convicted of inciting ethnic hatred.