News / Europe

Adoption Ban Splits Russia

Adoption Ban Splits Russiai
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January 19, 2013
Russia’s parliament may have voted overwhelmingly to ban Americans from adopting Russian orphans. This vote triggered this past Sunday, however, the largest protest that Moscow has seen since President Vladimir Putin was inaugurated last May. VOA correspondent Jim Brooke reports from Moscow on how the adoption issue is dividing Russians.
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— Russia’s new law banning American adoptions of Russian orphans is polarizing Russians into two camps: pro-West and anti-West.
 
Russia’s parliament voted overwhelmingly last month to bar Americans from adopting Russian orphans. But the vote triggered this last week the largest protest Moscow has seen since President Vladimir Putin was inaugurated last May.

Lowell Highby and his adopted son, Alex, pose in front of their hom in Iowa, Jul. 10, 2012.Lowell Highby and his adopted son, Alex, pose in front of their hom in Iowa, Jul. 10, 2012.
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Lowell Highby and his adopted son, Alex, pose in front of their hom in Iowa, Jul. 10, 2012.
Lowell Highby and his adopted son, Alex, pose in front of their hom in Iowa, Jul. 10, 2012.
Anastasia, a high school student, joined a mass protest against the adoption ban with her father and his two adopted children. She is studying English and was eager to register her protest.
 
"It's really awful that our Duma decided this law because it's really a law of dishonest people,” she said in English.
 
Nearby in the march of 25,000 protesters was Anna Glukhova, deputy director of an international trading company. She accused Russia’s parliament, or Duma, of voting for the ban in order to distract attention from the case of Moscow lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison three years ago. Impunity in the case has drawn criticism from Europe and the United States.
 
“The actions of the Duma upset us,” said Glukhova, who was marching with her husband. “It is scandalous to use orphan children to cover up the murder of Magnitsky. They are ready to sell their conscience. We are not. That is why they are there. And we are here.”
 
Ekaterina, a 39-year-old mother of a son, held a sign with a sarcastic message: “Clearly, I am a State Department agent, but don’t take revenge on children!”
 
“What's incredible is that the majority is convinced that America is bad, that we are cooperating with American agents, or even that they pay us,” she said.
 
Five blocks and two days away from the protests, Duma Deputy Evgeny Fedorov was scornful of the protesters.
 
“The participants of the recent protests in Russia, I see them as strange people because they support selling our own children overseas,” said Fedorov, who trained in the Soviet era to be a military engineer.
 
Fedorov, a deputy with the ruling United Russia party, criticized the new American law that bans American visas and bank accounts for Russian officials suspected of involvement in the Magnitsky case and other human rights violations. He called the new law an attack on Russia.
 
“In the law it is written openly that Russians are second class people,” Fedorov said, giving his interpretation of the ban. “That is not welcomed by Russia. Everyone has made this mistake, Hitler, not understanding the mentality of the Russian people.”
 
Swedish economist Anders Aslund is based in Washington, where he is a senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. On a visit to Moscow Thursday, he said the big picture is that President Putin is trying to retain his domestic political base by exploiting Russians’ historic suspicion of the West.
 
"President Putin ran his campaign on anti-Americanism as one of the big things,” Aslund said, referring to the Russian presidential election campaign of one year ago. “And to the surprise of everybody, he has not let down, but aggravated this campaign."
 
At the demonstration, Andrei Kazakevich said politicians are hurting real people.
 
“I think it is ridiculous. I think it is hurting our children,” said Kazakevich, an English-speaking job recruiter.
 
At the end of the march, protesters threw photos of Duma deputies in a dumpster. The posters were marked: “Shame.”

James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

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Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
January 19, 2013 8:14 PM
abhijeet from: vasai, India
has seen the speck (Adoption) in “its brother’s” eye (Russia)
but failed to notice the beam in its own eye
(gang rape violence flourishing in India, and murdering millions baby-girls).
Just blinded or vicious people can support the Adoption Ban. For 12 years Putin’s regime wasn’t interested in the plight of about 1 mln orphans dumped in overcrowded impoverished state orphanages. For 12 years the regime didn’t mind that 90% former orphans would become drug addicts, prostitutes, homeless and criminals in adult life. But now the regime uses the unlucky children in order to push forward its agenda in Magnitsky murder.


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
January 18, 2013 8:56 PM
The Kremlin’s strategists aren’t squeamish in using the rule: to split and to rule with orphans, handicapped and abandoned children as a human shield and an argument. Russia under Mr Putin is split many times:
1) rule of law and the Constitution against lawlessness and rigged elections;
2) transparency against malignant corruption; hard facts of bleak future for orphans in Putin’s Russia against pseudo patriotism and emotions;
3) majority of Russians against Putin’s Duma as his pocket instrument to cling to power for ever.
I pity those grass-root Russians who by their misinformation being duped by the State TV participate in the smear campaign against the better future for the unlucky children.

In Response

by: abhijeet from: vasai, India
January 19, 2013 11:27 AM
Putin have taken good decision and I welcome this new law .. I am not Russian but may be not all but many of Russian children are used in porn in term of adaption ... this is against Human rights ... Their life getting destroyed for money by high profile people ... One need to care them ....

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