News / Europe

Russians Protest Ban on Adoptions by American Parents

People march during a protest against Russia's new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children in Moscow, January 13, 2013.
People march during a protest against Russia's new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children in Moscow, January 13, 2013.
James Brooke
During the Christmas holidays, Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill banning adoptions of Russian children by American parents.  Russia’s legislature overwhelmingly passed the law, retaliating for a new U.S. law that blocks Russian officials accused of corruption and  human rights violations from obtaining American visas or bank accounts.

With Russia’s long New Year’s break over, Russians responded Sunday to the adoption ban with the largest protest rally in Moscow since President Putin’s inauguration last May.

This time they braved freezing temperatures, tough new laws against protests, and a heavy police presence, complete with low-flying helicopters.  Police say 9,000 people turned out - about two protesters for every policeman.  Opposition activists said they counted 24,000 people passing through police metal detectors.

Job-search specialist Andrei Kazakevich was in one of the two long, parallel columns that walked in light snow up Moscow’s boulevard ring.  "I think It is crazy," he said of the new law. "I think it is ridiculous, outrageous.  It is hurting our children."

Anastasia, aged 17, came with her father, Yuri, and her two little brothers - both adopted.  She spoke as marchers derided Russia's Duma with shouts of "Shame!"  "I think that in every American family they will be in better situation and atmosphere than in Russian houses where there are orphans," she said.

Protests were also held Sunday in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinaburg and Omsk.

Last month, all but one of Russia’s political parties voted in a single bloc for the law in the Duma.  On Sunday, the Moscow protest appeared to be composed largely of independent voters.  Many marchers identified themselves as parents or grandparents.
 
Katia, a 39-year-old mother of a son, walked carrying a homemade sign.  It criticized the government "for taking revenge on children." 

“I am here against this bad, cannibalistic law,” she said.  She  added she is distressed the legislation was introduced by one of the few women in the Duma, Yekaterina Lakhova.

As the march started, Lakhova told a Moscow radio station she was surprised to see so many people turn out in support of what she called, "baby selling" to the United States.  She said in two decades Russia had lost 100,000 children to the United States.  American officials put the number of adoptions at 60,000.

As the debate turns increasingly to Russia's aging population, little mention is made of statistics that Russian women terminate more than one million pregnancies annually through induced abortions.

Independent city councilman Maxim Motin spoke as a police helicopter hovered overhead. He said the Duma reacted harshly out of fear European Union countries will pass similar laws, banning visas and bank accounts for Russian officials suspected of corruption and human rights violations.  

The American law was adopted in response to Russia’s inaction after the death three years ago in a Moscow prison of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer for an American hedge fund.

Anna Glukhova, the 40-year-old mother of a daughter, came with her husband.  She said: "I think that is very bad to defend murderers of Magnitsky with our orphaned children."

Russia has 120,000 children awaiting adoption.  For years, the process has been blocked by bureaucracy.  Now it is blocked by nationalism.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
January 13, 2013 9:18 PM
It’ good that in the FSB-run country still are many thousands people concerned with better future for all being born in Russia. In 12 years in dying-out country the regime has done nothing to about 1 mln of orphans and abandoned children. Now the regime uses them as a human shield to cover its exposure in Magnitsky murder and their threat to their millions $ amassed in foreign banks. The people participated in the peaceful protests were intimidated by excessive police presence and demonstration of brutal force. Russians know too well how lawless is Putin’s police.

by: Kate SD from: San Diego
January 13, 2013 3:20 PM
the number is actually over 720,000 orphans in Russia - not 120,000

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More