Efremov, Russia, April 6 (Reuters) – A Russian girl who was sent to an orphanage after painting an anti-war portrait for denigrating the armed forces has been brought together by her mother who did not live with her. family for at least seven years.
Russia imposed heavy penalties for defamation of the armed forces after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, laws that seized dissidents, journalists, actors, musicians and even comedians.
Just hours before the court was due to hold a hearing on the parental rights of the girl’s father, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner said she had spoken to the girl’s mother whom she had collected from welfare.
The girl’s father, Alexei Moskalyov, was convicted of defaming the armed forces and sentenced to two years in prison, leaving his daughter Maria, or Masha in a diminutive, in the hands of the state as her mother, according to legal documents she has seen. Reuters, lost contact with her daughter.
Children’s Commissioner Maria Lvova Belova said she had spoken to the girl and her mother, Olga.
“Masha at first did not want to go to her mother, and her opinion was legally required to be taken into account. Now her attitude has changed – she told me about it herself on the phone,” said Lvova-Belova.
“Olga has already taken Masha from the social rehabilitation center,” she said. “Let’s hope everything will work out for mom and daughter.”
Lvova-Belova posted a photo of the girl and her mother sitting on a bed, looking into each other’s eyes. Both of them were smiling.
“I am happy that the reunion of my daughter and her mother has begun,” she told Vova Belova.
It was not immediately clear why Maria’s mother had not lived with the family for so long. Official custody documents released earlier in the year showed her mother using a different surname.
“No to war”
Moskalyov’s troubles began after his daughter drew a picture in an art class last year that showed Russian missiles flying towards Ukraine and the slogans “Glory to Ukraine” and “No to Putin, No to War”.
Secondary School No. 9 in Yefremov, 290 km south of Moscow, alerted the police, who discussed the matter with both Moskalyov and his daughter, who at the time was 12 years old.
More seriously, Moskalyov’s lawyer told Reuters that officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era State Security Committee (KGB), also spoke to the father and daughter.
Shortly thereafter, social services intervened and Moskalyov was accused of bad parenting and fined. He was charged with defaming the Russian Armed Forces in social media posts. He said his account had been hacked.
On March 1, he was arrested and the next day the court placed him under house arrest. Maria is taken away and placed in a children’s home, despite the detective’s request that she be taken home.
Moskalev escaped and was arrested in Minsk. While on the run, he was sentenced in absentia to two years in a penal colony for defaming the armed forces.
Editing by Jay Faulconbridge. Edited by Robert Purcell
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