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Just Russia party head, his wife adopt girl abducted from Ukraine, altering her name, citizenship

Before the eruption of full-scale conflict, the child resided in a Kherson orphanage. Her identity was significantly altered - not just her name and parental details, but also her birthplace, which was changed from Kherson in Ukraine to Podolsk near Moscow.

Just Russia party head, his wife adopt girl abducted from Ukraine, altering her name, citizenship
Sergei Mironov
Photo: Telegram/Sergei Mironov

The head of the Just Russia party, Sergei Mironov, and his wife adopted a girl who had been taken from Ukraine, altering her name, and citizenship. These revelations were brought to light in an investigation by Vazhnye Istorii.

In late August 2022, Mironov's wife, Inna Varlamova, arrived in Kherson Region accompanied by Mironov's first deputy in the State Duma, Yana Lantratova. They left the region accompanied by someone else. Local occupying authorities sanctioned the removal of two children - 10-month-old Marharyta Prokopenko and two-year-old Illya Vashchenko - from the Kherson orphanage.

Natalya Lyutykova, head of the hospital's pediatric department, revealed that Varlamova wasn't alone; she was accompanied by Tetyana Zavalska, who assumed leadership at the local orphanage after Kherson's occupation. Varlamova was introduced as "a senior official in charge of children's affairs from Moscow". They examined the children's conditions and surroundings, after which Zavalska incessantly demanded their discharge, according to Lyutykova.

The very next day following their discharge, Marharyta and Illya were whisked away from the orphanage. The ostensible reason was to transport them to Moscow for "examination, determining treatment strategies, and rehabilitation". This occurred just before the Ukrainian army liberated the city.

A week later, in November 2022, both children ended up in Moscow Region. Subsequently, the Podolsk City Court of Moscow Region reviewed the child's case in November 2022. Varlamova was the interested party, while the Department of the Moscow Region office of the Ministry of Social Development No. 16 acted as the applicant.

Vazhnye Istorii found documents that confirm that a month after the court decision, in December 2022, Sergei Mironov and Inna Varlamova adopted Marharyta Prokopenko, now Marina Sergeievna Mironova.

Not only her name and parents were changed, but also her place of birth: instead of Ukrainian Kherson, her new documents now indicate the city of Podolsk near Moscow.

A source familiar with Marharyta and Illya's situation told Vazhnye Istorii that Marharyta's biological mother was deprived of parental rights and her father died, but the child has other relatives. Illya's fate is still unknown. Vazhnye Istorii found that only a year after his deportation in September 2023, he received a new birth certificate. It shows that Illya is in Moscow Region.

However, it's worth noting that adoption of deported Ukrainian children in Russia contravenes international law, as outlined by lawyer Maria Chashchylova. It is considered a violation of Article 2(e) of the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide and amounts to genocide.

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