One of the children was thrown out like an 'unwanted kitten' (Picture: East2West)
One of the children was thrown out like an ‘unwanted kitten’ (Picture: East2West)

A scandal has deepened over a prominent pro-Putin Russian politician, 71, who ‘kidnapped’ two children from occupied Ukraine.

Sergey Mironov, leader of the Fair Russia party, is accused of a war crime after he and his fifth wife removed a ten-month-old girl and a two-year-old boy.

The politician ‘adopted’ and renamed the girl Marina Mrionova from an orphanage with his wife Irina Varlamova, 56, before changing her birth certificate to make it seem as though she was born near Moscow.

An investigation has now revealed the girl, whose real name is Margarita, has a legal Ukrainian guardian who is now living in exile from the war in Greece with the child’s full sibling, an elder sister named Anna.

Ukrainian officials are demanding that the politician and his wife return the girl so she can be reunited with her blood sister.

The boy taken by the politician’s wife was brought to Russia but after less than a week was rejected by Mironov and his spouse.

Anna Prokopenko (L) is the sister of Margarita Prokopenko (Picture: TSN/East2West News)
Anna Prokopenko (L) is the sister of Margarita Prokopenko (Picture: TSN/East2West News)

The boy, then two and now four, was thrown out like an ‘unwanted kitten’, according to Ukrainian TSN TV channel.

Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament’s human rights ombudsman, said: ‘Varlamova got rid of the boy when it became known that Ilya Vashchenko was diagnosed with a disease.’

Leaked Varlamova emails reveal she complained she was given a ‘low quality child’.

The boy’s fate is not known, but a new birth certificate was issued for him in Moscow region.

The head of the Child Protection Department of the Office of the Prosecutor General in Ukraine said: ‘Specifically about Ilya, we have no information about where the boy is now.

‘A fake birth certificate is the first thing they issue in Russia to make it impossible to find abducted children. The girl that Mironov and Varlamova stole received a new ID. Now, as written in the new certificate, she is not Ukrainian Margarita Prokopenko, but Marina Mironova, born in the Moscow region….

Pro-war Russian politician Sergey Mironov has been accused of the crime (Picture: East2West)
Pro-war Russian politician Sergey Mironov has been accused of the crime (Picture: East2West News)

‘It seems that the kidnapper hopes that Margarita will eventually get used to both the new family and the new name, as if it’s better than being a lonely orphan in an orphanage.

‘But the fact is that Margarita has relatives – both a sister and a legal guardian. Nobody asked their permission when Margarita was taken out of Kherson. They are looking for the stolen girl and are ready to give her a real family.’

Lubinets said: ‘We already have a family that is ready to become a new family for Margarita. Moreover, this family is raising Margarita’s own sister.

‘Therefore, we have all the obligations from the state to turn to mediators, as well as to the international community, so that they demand from the Russian federation the urgent return of Margarita to her sister so that the reunification of the Ukrainian family takes place.’

Anna – believed to be 11 – is being raised by her godmother Daria Repina, who is legal guardian to both girls.



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Daria said: ‘When I was told that the child was alive, that she had been adopted, it was a great happiness for us.

‘It means we have a chance to take her back, that she will be with us. That the children will be reunited. Because children should grow in a family, in their own family. The two of them.’

Prominent pro-war Russian politician Sergey Mironov, 71, leader of Fair Russia party, is accused of adopting a girl, aged ten months, kidnapped from Ukraine and changing her name. Pictured getting married with his wife Inna Varlamova
Sergey married his wife Varlamova recently (Picture: East2West News)

Mironov’s loyalty and obedience to Putin has been known since he stood against the dictator in a presidential election in 2004.

He said at the time, indicating he was a sham candidate: ‘We all want Vladimir Putin to be the next president.’

In Soviet times, he served in the USSR’s airborne troops and later worked as a geophysicist, before entering politics.

Lawyer Maria Chashchilova said Mironov’s act of ‘adoption’ ‘is considered genocide’ due to the ‘forcible transfer of children from one human group to another’.

She said: ‘These children often have relatives or guardians in Ukraine who have lost contact with them, and in the case of children from orphanages, the guardians are officials of these institutions.

‘According to international law, the parties to the conflict must provide relatives and guardians with information about the missing and facilitate their search.’

Putin and his children’s ombudswoman Maria Lvova-Belova have been indicted by the International Criminal Court as war criminals over the illegal human trafficking of young people from Ukraine to Russia.

Mironov hit out at ‘fake hysteria unleashed by the Ukrainian special services and their Western curators’ over the adoption story – but leaked documents and emails show the Ukrainian child is now ‘legally’ adopted by him and his wife.

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