Kremlin disputes teen's alleged Putin plea

2013-01-10 18:57
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - A 14-year-old Russian orphan with a debilitating genetic disease has reportedly asked President Vladimir Putin for the right to live with his prospective adoptive family in the US.

But the Kremlin immediately called the reports false and a provocation aimed at discrediting Russia's international reputation and embarrassing Putin.

The letter from a boy named Maxim in the hardscrabble, industrial Urals city of Chelyabinsk came two weeks after Putin signed into law a bill banning all US adoptions.

The measure was given fast-track approval and almost no parliamentary debate in reprisal for new US legislation that targets alleged Russian rights abusers.

But the law also created controversy at home and up to 20 000 people are expected to come out on the streets of central Moscow in protest on Sunday.

Chelyabinsk media said the boy had been in touch with the US family - the Wallens - from the state of Virgina for seven years and that his case was already under court review when Putin signed the ban into law on 28 December.

"I would be very grateful if you come out in favour of children," the website of local Chelyabinsk television quoted Maxim's letter as saying on Thursday.

"Do not deprive children of their right to obtain a family," the boy reportedly wrote.

The media did not identify the disease from which Maxim was suffering, but several reports said treatment was easily accessible in the US.

The Kremlin's local children's rights representative said the chances of Putin changing his mind at this were "very low".

She described the Wallens as caring and attentive - two qualities missing from Maxim's children's home.

"There is a chance to treat Maxim in America and the Wallens are willing to pay," she said. "He could get a good education in that family."

Using children as pawns

The US government has accused Russia of using children as pawns in high-stakes diplomatic games during ex-KGB agent Putin's tumultuous 13 years in power.

But Putin has defended the measure, while national media released interviews with the director of Maxim's children's home denying that the teenager was either sick or had ever written such a letter.

"He has no genetic disease," the director of Children's Home No 13, Denis Matsko, told Business FM radio.

"He has certain health problems - just like we all do."

A co-sponsor of the Russian adoptions legislation said she believed the letter was genuine but said adults had probably made Maxim write it to make Russia look bad.

"This is all being done in order to make Russia look bad again," ruling United Russia party member Yekaterina Lakhova told the state RIA Novosti news agency.

"To manipulate a child like that - I just cannot imagine how someone could do that."

And a Kremlin spokesperson said no such letter had reached Putin's desk.

"We checked everything very carefully," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state media. "The president's administration never received a letter."

Foreign adoption

Foreign adoptions are a sensitive issue in Russia because the practice of adopting has never truly taken hold among Russians themselves.

The Soviet Union raised all disadvantaged children in children's homes, many of which continue to operate today across the country.

The United States comprises the largest part of foreign Russian adoptions - nearly 1 000 adoptions were recorded last year - while Russia is the third-most popular country for US nationals seeking children abroad.

Putin's law terminated the processing of nearly 50 adoption cases that had been under review by the Russian courts.

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.