Correspondence

Child Abuse, the State, and the Russian Family

It was another episode in a series of shocking crimes against children.  Little Sasha, just three years old, was pulled from the frigid waters of the Pekhorka River in January 2009.  He was bound to a car battery with adhesive tape, his body battered and bearing the marks of cigarette burns.  It was the second death of an adopted child in the Grechushkin family: The December before Sasha’s body was discovered, their one-year-old’s death had aroused suspicions.  The third child was placed in an orphanage, and the adoptive parents were arrested.

A more recent official outrage has stoked the flames of public anger and dismay regarding the treatment of children in Russia.  In February the Internal Security department of the St. Petersburg militia opened an investigation of a pedophilia case involving a deputy in the city legislature and militia officers who may have covered for him and other pedophiliac officials.  According to investigators, militia officers are accused of providing protection for United Russia Deputy Andrei Smirnov.  Smirnov operates a children’s home in the city and stands accused of molesting the boys in his care for over two decades.  After being taken into police custody, Smirnov confessed his crimes and told the investigators shocking stories of orgies involving the boys and pedophiliac state officials.  He provided pictures to confirm the details.  According to press...

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