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Masha Moskaleva to stay with her mother after all, says Children's Rights Commissioner, negating earlier statement

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Masha Moskaleva, the underage daughter of political prisoner Alexei Moskalev, will be released from the orphanage to her mother, says Russia’s Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova.

“At first, Masha was unwilling to reunite with her mother, and her opinion has legal force. She has changed her mind, though, as she herself told me on the phone. When speaking to her mom today and learning more about her life, I was able to form a first-hand opinion and thought: what if a miracle was indeed possible? Despite all the circumstances of the past. At the very least, the two of them have the right to try.

Olga has already retrieved Masha from the social rehabilitation center, where she’d been placed at her mother's earlier request. At the moment, Olga’s parental rights haven't been restricted, so all she had to do was terminate the temporary placement contract with the institution,” Lvova-Belova wrote on her Telegram channel.

A day before, the Commissioner announced plans to find a foster family for Masha because her mother had allegedly refused to pick up the girl after her former husband's arrest and had submitted an application for the girl to be placed in an orphanage. She hadn't contacted Masha and hadn’t participated in her upbringing since the girl turned two.

Masha Moskaleva was placed in the orphanage after her father, Alexei Moskalev, was arrested on the charges of “discrediting the army”. He escaped house arrest but was detained in Belarus. Moskalev had drawn the attention of law enforcement after Masha drew an anti-war poster in an Arts class at school, which her teacher reported to the headmaster and the authorities. Soon, the police searched the Moskalevs’ apartment.

An “army discrediting” case was initiated, followed by a repeat-offense case filed for several posts on the Odnoklassniki social network, including those about the murdered Bucha residents and Ukrainian POWs in Yelenivka. However, Moskalev denies writing these posts and claims his page was hacked multiple times.

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