Adoption of Russian children by foreign families down 70 percent in five years – Astakhov

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Interfax – May 30, 2013) The number of Russian orphans adopted by foreign families has dipped by 70 percent in the past five years, Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said. “The number of children adopted by foreign families has declined; the decline has been rather significant. Even before January 1, 2013 [when the Dima Yakovlev law entered into force] […]

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Strict Measures in Works to Boost Population

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – May 29, 2013) Senior federal officials on Tuesday discussed at the Kremlin the country’s draft plan for the next 12 years to support families with children and ultimately reverse the natural population decline. As part of the plan to boost Russia’s dwindling population ­ which declined for a 20th consecutive year in […]

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No Country for ICU Patients

File Photo of Patient in Russian Hospital

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News – May 27, 2013) Here is a bit of uncomfortable information for Western expats who are new to Moscow: If you or your loved ones, God forbid, end up in intensive care, few hospitals will allow you to have visitors. The rule even applies to very young children. The […]

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Russia refuses to let Americans adopt 33 children

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG, May 21, 2013) Thirty-three orphans, including 12 disabled children, who were supposed to be adopted by U.S. nationals, will be unable to join their would-be parents because of this year’s Russian ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans, the office of the St. Petersburg commissioner for children’s rights said on Tuesday. The commissioner, Svetlana […]

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60% of Russians wish to bar children from social networks – poll

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 16, 2013) Some 57% of Russians polled by the Superjob.ru portal support the idea of banning children younger than 13 from social networks. Another 17% expressed their support but said the age limit should be higher (49% stand for 16 years and 21% for 18). Fourteen percent were against and 12% could not answer the question. […]

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Putin’s Lost Children

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – May 2, 2013) It is often argued that Russia’s democratic future is assured by the progressive and pro-Western attitudes of its youth. Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, contends that the reality is more complex. […]

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Big study of Russian youth sees Putin as a dragon

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – April 22, 2013) A large study by Olga Kryshtanovskaya, Russias leading specialist on elites, into the attitudes of young people in 26 Russian cities found that Russias youth have a largely positive view of the president. The full report, available online at gefter.ru/archive/8369 and already the subject of discussions in Gazeta.ru (gazeta.ru/politics/2013/04/19_a_5261565.shtml) and PublicPost.ru […]

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Kerry Lauds US-Russia Work on ‘Big-Ticket’ Issues

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(RIA Novosti -WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013) ­ US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday praised cooperation between the United States and Russia on a range of issues and said he is “hopeful” that the two countries can bolster bilateral ties despite disagreements over adoptions and human rights. “Even though there have been some bumps in the road, I am […]

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Moscow, Washington Agree Regular Dialogue on Adoptions

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(RIA Novosti – WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013) ­ Russia and the United States have agreed to establish regular dialogue on the protection of rights of Russian children adopted by US families, a Russian diplomat said on Wednesday after talks with US officials in Washington. “There is a mutual understanding that the dialogue must be improved and expanded,” said Konstantin Dolgov, […]

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Duma to Consider Lifting Ban on Child Adoptions

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 17, 2013) The State Duma was scheduled on Wednesday to discuss a bill to lift the ban on U.S. parents adopting Russian children, even as Russian investigators accused another U.S. couple of failing to protect their child. The bill’s authors, Just Russia Deputies Dmitry Gudkov, Ilya Ponomaryov and Valery Zubov, said the ban needed […]

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They’re right here: Autism in Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – April 8, 2013) A few years ago, an autistic boy named Anton wrote an essay about life. “People rush. People swear,” it reads. “Now happy. Now serious. People bang and rattle. They’re not shaggy. They get lost. Ginger. Deep. They skin things. People renovate houses and barns. People will endure a bit […]

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Adopted Russian Boy Had Dozens of Bruises – Autopsy Report

Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., file photo

WASHINGTON, March 27 (RIA Novosti) Max Shatto, the 3-year-old Russian adoptee who died on Jan. 21 in Texas, had more than 30 bruises on his body in different stages of healing at the time of his death, according to an autopsy report obtained by the Odessa American (OA) newspaper. The report ­ acquired through a Freedom of Information request to […]

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Foreigners adopt far more disabled children than Russians – deputy minister

File Photo of Back of Wheelchari with Line of Persons in Business Dress in Background

(Interfax – March 22, 2013) According to data from the Russian Education and Science Ministry, over the last few years foreign citizens have adopted several times more disabled children than Russians have, privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 22 March. “If we look at the number of disabled children adopted, we see that for Russian citizens this is 40 in […]

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Golodets: 118,000 Orphans in State Care

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimews.com – Jonathan Earle – March 22, 2013) There are about 118,000 orphans in Russian state care, and the number of domestic adoptions fell from 2011 to 2012, senior government officials told State Duma deputies on Friday. The updated figures could bring clarity to a national debate about how to reduce the number of children in state […]

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Most of Russian Cabinet Against US Adoption Ban – Deputy PM

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ The majority of Russian ministers are against a recently approved ban on US nationals adopting Russian children, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Wednesday. “A lot of people in the Cabinet, the majority, were against the legislation, at least in the form it was passed,” Dvorkovich said at a meeting with students, the Prime […]

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How to Talk to Children about Joseph Stalin

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Guzeva, RBTH – March 16, 2013) The first children’s book about Stalin, “Breaking Stalin’s Nose,” has been released, almost sixty years to the day since the dictator’s death. Are Russians ready to discuss this period of their country’s past with their children? Russian émigré author Eugene Yelchin’s “Breaking Stalin’s Nose” has appeared […]

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Russia: A Teenage Suicide Epidemic?

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(opendemocracy.net – Yelena Vorobyova – March 13, 2013) Yelena Vorobyova is a journalist from Bryansk, Russia Russia has the highest underage suicide rate in Europe. Yelena Vorobyova reports from the Bryansk region, where 10 children have taken their own lives in as many months. Masha says, ‘We can still be friends’. Masha sends hundreds of smiley faces on social networking […]

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Two-Thirds of Russians Support Banning Foreign Adoptions – Poll

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – Moscow, March 11, 2013) The number of Russians, who support the ban on the adoption of Russian children by foreign citizens, has been increasing. Currently, 64 per cent of citizens are supporters of this position, a poll carried out by VTsIOM (All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre) in early March has shown. According to the poll, 53 per cent […]

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Russia Has Biggest Child Suicide Rate in Europe

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) – Russia has the biggest child suicide rate in Europe, the Rospotrebnadzor website reported on Monday. “Russia has the highest suicide rate among children and teens in Europe. The rate has grown by 35%-37% in the recent years. In all, Russia reported about 800,000 suicides from 1990 to 2010,” it said. The child suicide rate continues […]

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Five Myths About Max Shatto’s Death

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – March 7, 2013) Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. Shortly after Maxim Kuzmin was born to an alcoholic mother in the Pskov region three years ago, Russian child welfare officials placed him, and later his younger brother, in an orphanage after concluding that the mother was unfit to […]

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Russian Officials Rage as US Rules Adoptee’s Death ‘Accident’

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian officials reacted with a mixture of anger and suspicion on Saturday after officials in the United States said the death of a 3-year-old Russian child in Texas was an accident. Max Shatto, also known as Maxim Kuzmin, died on January 21 in Ector County, Texas, sparking anger in Russia, where his death was […]

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Kerry, Lavrov Tackle Syria, Adoptions in ‘Constructive’ Talks

Syria Map

BERLIN, February 26 (RIA Novosti) ­The United States and Russia will do “everything possible” to facilitate a dialogue between the Syrian government and the armed opposition, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday in Berlin following his first bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry. “No one will solve the Syrians’ problems for them, but in order for […]

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‘Cloud Atlas,’ Russian style; How a bizarre adoption drama can be traced back to Magnitsky’s death

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 25, 2013) Anna Arutunyan is the politics editor of The Moscow News A story needs a beginning and end, but what has become the main narrative of Russia’s current political era doesn’t seem to have either. And the weak are meat the strong do eat, as David Mitchell coined in his […]

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Latest Case Opened into U.S. Adoptee Death

U.S. Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – February 26, 2013) Investigators have opened a murder case into the death of a 9-year-old Russian boy in the care of U.S. parents, the Investigative Committee said in an online statement late Monday. Anton Fomin died of smoke inhalation in a fire at his house in the state of Nebraska in May […]

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McFaul Slams ‘Sensational Exploitation’ of Orphan’s Death

File Photo of Barack Obama Sitting at Desk with Mike McFaul Standing Next to Him Facing Him

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – February  25, 2013) U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul has condemned “sensational exploitations” of the recent death of a Russian toddler in the United States and said he is “troubled” by portrayals of the U.S. legal system, government and the American people in the Russian press. “It is time for sensational exploitations of human […]

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Lavrov sees some progress in U.S. on adoptions

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 25 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes the U.S. administration in the past few weeks has manifested a wish to influence the administrations of the U.S. states to resolve problems of Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens. “They have a wish to do it. We have seen some attempts to influence the administrations of the states. […]

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Senior MP Admits Adopted Children’s Deaths Almost Never Probed In Russia

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, February 21, 2013) Up to 300 adopted children die in Russia every year but practically no-one has faced criminal prosecution over these deaths, head of the State Duma Committee on Affairs of Family, Women and Children Yelena Mizulina (representing A Just Russia party) said on Thursday (21 February). “According to the figures available to the committee, […]

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Situation with orphans in Russia is more important than debate on foreign adoptions – Putin

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Feb 20 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said the living conditions of orphans in Russia are much more important than the current debate on adoptions. “We are now actively discussing the work with foreign adoptions, which is, of course, an important thing, but not the main thing. What is more important is the way children, who have been […]

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It’s too early to speak about cause of Maxim Kuzmin’s death – U.S. consul

United States Map

(Interfax – February 21, 2013) The results of the autopsy performed on Russian child Maxim Kuzmin who died in the U.S. have not been made public yet, Acting U.S. Consul in Russia Bill Bistransky said. Bistransky told Kommersant FM, commenting on the statement made by Russian envoy on human rights, democracy and supremacy of law Konstantin Dolgov saying that the […]

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Adopted Russian Boy’s ‘Suspicious’ Death Raises Many Questions

Pavel Astakhov file photo

WASHINGTON, February 19 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) The January death of a young boy adopted from Russia last year by American parents was called “suspicious” on Tuesday by Texas authorities investigating the case, but they stopped short of confirming the graphic evidence of abuse some Russian officials have claimed and said the parents have not been charged with […]

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Latest Orphan Death Sparks Official Furor

Duma Session file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – February 20, 2013) With striking unanimity and furor, senior officials and lawmakers on Tuesday condemned the latest death of an adopted Russian child in the United States, saying the incident vindicates the government’s controversial decision to ban U.S. adoptions. “The death of one more Russian child in the United States has at […]

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Russian senators call for return of all Russian children adopted by U.S. families

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – February 20, 2013) The Federation Council’s meeting on Wednesday began with the issue of the death in the U.S. of Maxim Kuzmin, 3, who was adopted by U.S. citizens. Senators did not hide their outrage with what has occurred, and each of them tried to communicate his position on the matter. Nikolai Kondratenko, former governor of the Krasnodar […]

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Russian children’s rights ombudsman wants to end foreign adoption

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Anna Nemtsova, special to RBTH – February 19, 2013) Russian children’s rights ombudsman speaks candidly about his mission to abolish foreign adoption and end Russia’s role as an international “donor of orphans.” Russian children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, 47, is a man with a controversial mission: to end once and for all the […]

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U.S. to Assist in Probe of Adopted Russian Boy’s Death

Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 19, 2013) The U.S. State Department will assist in Russia’s probe into the January death of a 3-year-old Russian boy adopted by an American woman, a spokesman told RIA-Novosti on Wednesday. Children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said the boy, Maxim Kuzmin, was killed by his adoptive mother in Texas on Jan. 21 […]

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Reports of Adoptee’s Death in U.S. Prompt Firestorm of Outrage In Russia

Duma Session file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – February 19, 2013) It was like putting a match to a powder keg. Reports of the death in Texas of a Russian adoptee are producing an outpouring of outrage from Russian political elites aimed directly at the United States. “Why should we send our children to certain death,” Deputy Chairwoman of the Federation […]

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Child Welfare Bill Sparks Fears Among Parents

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 19, 2013) A bill redefining the conditions under which children can be seized from so-called “socially vulnerable families” has provoked fear among critics that more minors could be taken into state care due to petty infractions. Amid a renewed push by authorities to decrease the number of children in state care, […]

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Adoption Ban: Children Russia’s Top Priority, Says Envoy – INTERVIEW

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

WASHINGTON, February 14 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) – Russia’s ban of adoptions by US parents was enacted solely with the welfare of Russian children in mind, Moscow’s top envoy to Washington said this week, despite widespread perception among Americans that it was a retaliatory political act. Speaking in an interview with RIA Novosti, Ambassador Sergei Kislyak lamented an […]

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Urals students reap benefits of Russian-U.S. exchange

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines –  www.rbth.ru – Nadezhda Gavrilova, special to RBTH – February 11, 2013 – Nadezhda Gavrilova is a reporter for Rossiyskaya Gazeta) 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of educational exchange programs between the United States and the Urals. U.S. Consul General in Yekaterinburg, Michael Reinert, talks to Rossiyaskaya Gazeta’s Nadezhda Gavrilova about the direction that educational exchange […]

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U.S. experts coming to Moscow to consult on kids Americans wanted to adopt

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – February 12, 2013) U.S. experts will come to Moscow to consult with Russian officials on the destiny of orphans, who could have been adopted by Americans. “Americans asked for consultations, and a large delegation will visit us and will discuss with our officials how to track those kids, who have already come within the field of vision of […]

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10 Russian Myths About U.S. Adoptions

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – February 8, 2013) Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. Russia’s ban on U.S. adoptions has been accompanied by a massive propaganda campaign filled with many distortions and fabrications. Below are the 10 largest myths spread by children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, United Russia Deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov and other […]

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U.S. to Cooperate With Russia in Child Abuse Probes

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has expressed its readiness to cooperate with Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) in legal cases involving violence against Russian children adopted by Americans, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Friday. In the course of a working meeting on Wednesday, Investigative Committee officials handed a letter from IC head Alexander Bastrykin to US […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian state TV talk show discusses controversial State Duma bills

Kremlin and St. Basil's

[Russian state TV talk show discusses controversial State Duma bills – BBC Monitoring/Rossiya 1 – January 27, 2013] BBC Monitoring reports on the Rossiya 1 television program “Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyev” and its January 27, 2013, broadcast covering Duma bills: The 27 January edition of the “Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyev” talk show on state-owned Rossiya 1 TV featured […]

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Russians Not Lining Up to Adopt Americans

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – January 31, 2013) When the now-infamous ban on U.S. adoptions was first introduced in the State Duma in mid-December, some Russians suggested that a more appropriate response to the United States’ sanctions-imposing Magnitsky Act would have been to push their compatriots to adopt American children. “We shouldn’t ban the adoption of our […]

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Russian Ambassador: Adoption Ban ‘Didn’t Appear From Nowhere’

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

WASHINGTON, January 30 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) – Russia’s ambassador to the United States agreed Wednesday to convey to Moscow the concerns expressed by a dozen US senators in a closed-door meeting about Russia’s recent ban on adoptions by US citizens, but stopped short of offering renewed hope to American families and Russian children whose adoptions have been […]

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Half of Russians Favor Dima Yakovlev Law, 30% Oppose – Poll

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Fifty percent of respondents in a nationwide poll spoke in favor of the recently introduced law banning child adoptions by Americans, but 31 percent said they opposed the new legislation, the Levada Center pollster said on Wednesday. The poll, conducted between January 18 and 21, also found that 39 percent of respondents have nothing […]

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80% of Russian orphaned children live in Russian adoptive families – lawmaker

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

ST. PETERSBURG. Jan 29 (Interfax) – Eighty percent of Russian orphaned children have been adopted in Russia, said Irina Sokolova, vice chairperson of the State Duma Committee for Family, Women’s and Children’s Affairs. “Besides the anti-Magnitsky law, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on January 28 on the state policy of protecting orphaned and parentless children. There are about 650,000 […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with CNN

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – January 27, 2013) Fareed Zakaria: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for agreeing to this meeting. In 2009, when you were President of Russia, you wrote a very interesting and important essay about Russia’s future. You said that the two major problems of the Russian economy were excessive dependence on oil and excessive corruption. A look at current statistics […]

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‘We Live in Russia, Not Sodom and Gomorrah’

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – January 28, 2013) With a United Russia deputy declaring that Russia is not Sodom and Gomorrah, the State Duma gave tentative approval to a bill that would ban “gay propaganda” to minors. But the measure, which mirrors similar legislation in place in St. Petersburg and several other areas, met with unusually strong […]

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McFaul’s remarks on adoptions distort situation – Dolgov

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry’s human rights commissioner, Konstantin Dolgov, has blamed U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul for crudely distorting facts by saying that by denouncing the Russian-American agreement on cooperation in child adoptions, Russia has lost the opportunity to monitor the lives of Russian children adopted in the United States. “We have read with […]

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The Duma Lacks Principles

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – David Edwards – January 21, 2013) David Edwards is chief copy editor at The Moscow Times. An obscure Washington state politician once said her votes on proposed legislation were based on conscience, constituency and caucus ­ in that order. She may be on to something. United Russia deputies in the State Duma who voted for […]

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