Putin’s friend adopted a kidnapped Ukrainian girl: taken from an orphanage at 10 months old

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By John

Margarita he was ten months old when he came kidnapped at the end of August 2022 from the orphanage in the Ukrainian city of Kherson, at that time occupied by Russian forces. Today she is a Russian citizen and her identity has been erased. Her name was changed to Marina after being adopted by the seventy-year-old Duma deputy and leader of the Just Russia party Sergey Mironovally and friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Telling what would be the first documented case of adoption of a Ukrainian child by a high-ranking Russian politician is the investigative portal IStories. The Russian deputy denies the reconstruction, calling it «a hysterical fake unleashed by the Ukrainian special services and their Western curators.” The evidence, however, seems to be there. In October 2022 Mironov married for the fifth time, to Inna Varlamova. Varlamova had been working in the government since 2005 and the two had been dating since the end of August, when she arrived in the Kherson region together with Right Russia deputy Yana Lantratova.

After the visit, however, the two women did not leave alone. The local occupation authorities issued them a power of attorney to take away two children from the orphanage: 10-month-old Margarita Prokopenko and two-year-old Ilya Vashchenko. A week after being taken away from Ukraine, Margarita and Ilya found themselves in the Moscow region. This is demonstrated by the letter that the department of the Ministry of Social Development of the Moscow region sent to the Kherson orphanage at the beginning of September 2022 in which it is specified that «the children are currently in the territory of the Moscow region and are recognized as in need of state support.”

A short time later, in November, the Podolsk city court considered an adoption application: the interested party was Inna Varlamova, the applicant the same department that had communicated with the Kherson orphanage. A month after the court decision, in December 2022, Sergey Mironov and Inna Varlamova adopted Margarita Prokopenko, changed her name, to Marina Sergeevna Mironova, and place of birth, moving it from Kherson to Podolsk, Russia.

Margarita and Ilya are just two of the 48 children missing from the Kherson regional orphanage after Russian forces had conquered the southern Ukrainian city, which was then returned to Kiev. But the total number taken away by Moscow from Ukrainian territory would be much higher: according to Ukraine, around 20,000 children were kidnapped by Russian forces. Fewer than 400 returned home.