Daughter of Alexey Moskalyov who was placed in orphanage after her dad was arrested for ‘discrediting army’ reunited with mother

Maria Moskalyova, a schoolgirl from Russia’s Tula region who made news headlines after she drew an anti-war picture, has been released from her orphanage and reunited with her mother, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights Maria Lvova-Belova announced.

“Maria initially did not want to stay with her mother, and her opinion has to be taken into account legally. Her position has now changed, she told me over the phone herself,” Lvova-Belova noted.

Earlier, the commissioner said that reuniting with the mother is not on the table because her mother refused to take in her daughter after her ex-husband was arrested in early March. However, Lvova-Belova today said that “despite all that’s happened in the past, Olga [the mother] took Maria out of the orphanage where the girl was placed after the mother’s appeal”.

Earlier, OVD-Info lawyer Vladimir Bilienko who represents Alexey Moskalyov said that the transfer of Maria Moskalyova under her mother’s custody was initiated by the authorities.

“Initially, the city administration filed a lawsuit against the mother to particularly take away her parental rights. And now suddenly they went to see her to learn about her home conditions and left very satisfied with them. The administration of the Yefremov city practically did a complete U-turn. I believe that it was initiated by authorities above them,” he noted.

Earlier, Maria’s father Alexey Moskalyov was sentenced to two years behind bars for discrediting the Russian army.

Reports emerged soon after that Moskalyov escaped his house arrest several hours before the hearing. The Belarusian Interior Ministry soon confirmed that he had been detained in Minsk. His current whereabouts are currently unknown.

In early March, his daughter Maria was sent to an orphanage. She earlier wrote a letter to her father. “Hi Dad, I need you to stay healthy and calm. I’m okay, I love you so much and you should know that you did nothing wrong, I’ll always be on your side and I believe everything you do is right,” the child wrote.

The International Criminal Court headquartered in The Hague issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and commissioner for children’s rights Maria Lvova-Belova on 17 March. Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”, the ICC press release reads. Lvova-Belova is suspected of the same crimes.

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