Russian Trans Woman Murdered By Her Boyfriend

kamillaTrigger Warning

Via Womanist Musings, I’ve just learned the devastating news that yet another trans woman has been murdered in an apparent hate crime.  (Note: because of transphobia in the article, I am not quoting directly from it. Please read at your own discretion.)

The woman’s name was Kamilla; the only English language report I’ve been able to find does not give her last name.  She had been living with a boyfriend of two years, named Vladimir.  When Vladimir asked asked Kamilla to marry him, she declined.  Apparently believing that she could not have possibly turned him down for her stated reason of not being ready to wed, he started going through her things, and found letters addressed to her former name.  Upon further invasions of her privacy, he learned that she was trans.

Then he shot her dead.

Vladimir also slit his own wrists after murdering Kamilla.  Of course he is still alive, and is now thankfully facing murder charges.

The circumstantial evidence quite clearly indicates that Vladimir murdered Kamilla because of transphobic and transmisogynistic hatred.  And so, in fact, does the physical evidence.  In his suicide note, Vladimir stated that he killed Kamilla because of her “betrayal.”

That’s right.  Vladimir saw Kamilla being the person she was as a “betrayal” to him.  And because the lives of trans individuals, and of just all women period, are seen as so expendable, he decided that the perceived “betrayal” was enough reason to take her life.

In other words, he saw his own cis gender identity as so much more valid than Kamilla’s gender identity that he decided she didn’t have the right to live. Instead of accepting her as the woman that she was, had always been, and had always presented herself as to him, or in fact instead of just walking away from the relationship, he decided to shoot her.  When he learned that she was trans instead of cis, he didn’t only fail to continue seeing her as a woman.  He failed to continue seeing her as human.  And then in a supposed “last act,” he tried to pin his own actions on her.

I absolutely dread to see what the trial will be like.  I imagine that the “trans panic” defense exists in Russia, too, and particularly judging from Vladimir’s note, it will almost certainly be used if he pleads not guilty.  But I can only hope that the judicial system will recognize what Vladimir willfully ignored in his act of hatred: that Kamilla’s life, like all of our lives, had value and worth.  And I hope that the most justice that can possibly be done will be done.

Rest in peace, Kamilla.

0 thoughts on “Russian Trans Woman Murdered By Her Boyfriend

  1. SunlessNick

    I imagine that the “trans panic” defense exists in Russia, too

    One of Renee’s commentators has been checking the Russian media, and hasn’t found a trans panic being mentioned; there’s some evidence that he stalked Kamilla before killing her, so crying panic may not be an option. Hopefully.

    Reply
  2. Jet

    God. What a terrible story. And the article paints Vladimir as the sympathetic focus of the story. Of course.

    I hope there is justice for Kamillia.

    Reply
  3. Cara Post author

    I find it very disturbing and very telling that I’ve deleted twice as many comments on this post as I’ve published.

    That is all.

    Reply
  4. Kate

    I have to wonder about the veracity of this story. Why would Kamilla’s friends be using her old name? How would this guy exchange emails with her friends without her finding out? Why do the shooting near a train station and not at home? Too many things sound fishy.

    Furthermore, it appears the only source for this story is a trashy website called life.ru. So let’s hope this is just a fiction made up to sell a few tabloids.

    Reply
    1. Cara Post author

      Kate:

      1. People get mail from individuals other than their friends. In fact, I get very few pieces of physical mail from friends. Most of it is bills or other such correspondence.
      2. Family members, though, are frequently assholes who refuse to use a trans person’s correct name. There are countless instances of it.
      3. Where did you see anything about him exchanging emails with her friends? I’m not finding that.
      4. Where did you see anything about him shooting her at a train station? The article says he came home and shot her.

      Lastly, it was my impression that tabloids didn’t generally make up facts such as criminal charges being filed in courts. Though granted, I don’t regularly read tabloids and can’t be certain. It just seems like it would pose a particular liability issue to inform the public about legal charges that don’t exist.

      Reply
  5. Rachael

    Ugh, what’s with the “weird” tag for this article (on the site, I mean)? There’s nothing “weird” about this story. It’s tragic, plain and simple. This is a crime, not Ripley’s “Believe It or Not.”

    Reply
  6. Kate

    The most seemingly definitive account I have found in english is at pravda.ru ( http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/24-06-2009/107843-sex_change-0 ). In this case the article ends with a reference to life.ru, suggesting this is perhaps an english translation of the original life.ru article that all other articles in english refer to.

    Check out this other story similarly attributed to life.ru: Woman sucks her men dry in bed like female spider ( http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/20-06-2009/107817-female_spider-0 ) Are we supposed to believe that one too?

    Reply
  7. Anna

    But.. this isn’t woman sucks man dry like spider. This is trans woman is the victim of a hateful individual exercising their cis privilege over them, murdering them, because they took offence to their gender orientation. It happens a lot.. it’s commonplace, not some freak story.

    ^I don’t know if I’ve used the right terms here, and I know it’s not anyone else’s job to educate me, but if I’ve fucked up please let me know so I don’t do it again.

    Reply
  8. Pingback: Russian Trans Woman Murdered « Gender Across Borders

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