The Khachaturyan household was far from a happy home for sisters Krestina, Angelina and Maria when they were growing up.
The siblings were subject to intimidation, threats, violence and even sexual abuse from their depraved father, Mikhail.
Family videos, which should record happy and loving memories of being at home, instead reveal the terror Mikhail imposed upon his daughters every single day.
One video shows evil Mikhail shouting: “Turn to me, freak,” at one of his children. Then he begins kicking her.
The footage surfaced when it was shown to a jury at a trial of the three daughters in Moscow, Russia.
In 2018, Krestina, Angelina and Maria, then 19, 18 and 17, stabbed Mikhail to death with his own hunting knife. The girls claim they acted in self defence, fearing for their lives.
Three years later, Krestina and Angelina are facing up to 20 years in prison and Maria may be committed to a psychiatric hospital as she has been judged “temporarily insane” at the time of the killing.
Years of abuse
Mikhail Khachaturyan has been described as a “tyrant” who inflicted sexual, psychological and physical abuse on his daughters daily.
The sisters say they spent their childhoods living in permanent fear of their dad, who is believed to have run their mother out of the house when the girls were young.
Their mother, Aurelia Dunduk, has since claimed she was run out of the house by Mikhail in 2015, who then forbade the girls from contacting her.
The AFP reports court papers detail incidents of Mikhail shooting his daughters with an air gun and beating them daily. He also installed cameras around the house to keep constant tabs on them.
He controlled Krestina, Angelina and Maria by making repeated threats to kill them – so they didn’t dare answer back.
They were also too frightened to go to the police, worried about the ramifications if their dad got angry. It’s reported that Mikhail had “good relations” with law enforcement officials.
Evidence in the case details how Mikhail would manipulate his daughters to fulfil his sadistic desires.
He’s reported to have said to one daughter: “You will take the place of your mother. I will marry you and you will give birth to my baby.”
Another expert’s report revealed he ordered the terrified girls to undress in front of him, claiming he wanted to “check” them.
“Then [he] ordered them to sexually pleasure him, saying that he had problems with his prostate and it would be a cure,” the report read.
The girls had suffered serious injuries from Mikhail’s violent attacks – with Maria reported to have been stabbed.
On the afternoon of 27 July 2018, Mikhail took each of his daughters into a room to “punish” them using a method he frequently returned to.
He scolded them for not cleaning the family home to his standard and pepper sprayed them, one at a time.
Krestina, who is asthmatic, is believed to have passed out from the brutal attack. A new report suggests Mikhail then took her to the bathroom, poured vodka over her and undressed her.
That night, after suffering years of traumatic abuse and fearing for their lives, the girls decided to fight back.
While Mikhail was sleeping, all three daughters attacked him with a hammer and his own hunting knife.
When he collapsed, Maria, who was just 17 at the time, called an ambulance, but he was already dead when paramedics arrived.
The girls also called the police, who arrested them at the scene. Mikhail’s body was found to have more than 30 stab wounds.
Krestina is reported to have told police: “We hated him and we wanted just one thing to happen, either that he disappeared or that we never knew him.
“We wanted him just to go away and never come back.”
When the girls were charged, they admitted killing their abusive father, but their lawyers insisted they had acted in self defence after years of abuse.
However, prosecutors are pushing for convictions of premeditated murder which could see all three daughters locked away for a long time.
Olga Khalikova, the lawyer representing some of Mikhail’s relatives, complained the new evidence branding him a child sex offender “were based solely on the testimony of the accused.”
The case, which has continued for three years with the girls either being remanded in custody or under house arrest, has raised distressing new evidence which supports the claims made by the daughters.
The Moscow Department of Health has ruled that evil Mikhail inflicted “serious harm” on his daughters’ health. Forensic experts have also confirmed the abuse the girls suffered.
It was determined by the experts that the girls were in “a position of necessary defence.”
Now, a new psychological report could see Krestina, Angelina and Maria avoid jail.
Experts at the Serbsky Centre in Russia have determined the three girls were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of the killing.
Lawyer Maria Davtyan said: “All of these conditions in [Mikhail’s] daughters have a direct causal relationship from Khachaturian’s actions.”
Outcry in Russia
The case of the Khachaturyan sisters has sparked fury among human rights groups and domestic abuse campaigners in Russia.
The country doesn’t have specific laws to deal with domestic abuse and views it as a private matter – meaning many reports of violence are glossed over.
Two years ago, the government even decriminalised domestic battery for first-time offenders.
Since this case came to light, campaigners have fought to increase protection for women suffering domestic abuse at home.
According to the BBC, 80% of women in jail for murder in Russia killed a domestic abuser in self defence.
Several rallies have been held in support of the Khachaturyan sisters and a petition to stop their prosecution has reached nearly 500,000 signatures.