Russian Teen Whose Anti-War Sketch Led To Father's Arrest Leaves Orphanage


A 13-year-old Russian girl who was sent to an orphanage after her father was convicted of discrediting the Russian military has been picked up by her mother, the Kremlin children's rights commissioner said on April 5.

Maria Moskalyova was sent to the orphanage after drawing an anti-war sketch at school that led to the conviction of her father.

Children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova said Moskalyova was picked up from the orphanage by her mother just a day after saying she was looking for a foster family for the teenager.

Lvova-Belova said she had met the girl's mother, who had long been separated from her husband. The girl had previously refused to live with her mother but changed her mind, so the mother took her home, Lvova-Belova said.

The mother, Olga Sitchikhina, lives in the Tambov region with a 17-year-old daughter from another marriage.

The case brought against Moskalyova’s father, Aleksei Moskalyov, drew outrage from human rights organizations last week.

Moskalyov fled house arrest just before his sentencing hearing in the town of Yefremov south of Moscow. He was sentenced on March 28 in absentia to two years in prison after the court convicted him of "discrediting Russia's armed forces," a charge Russian authorities have been using against any criticism of the war in Ukraine.

Moskalyov, 54, was detained in Belarus two days later. A court in Yefremov is set on April 6 to consider a request by prosecutors to strip him of his parental rights.

According to his lawyer and supporters, the drawing by Moskalyov’s daughter depicted missiles flying over a Russian flag at a woman and child. The drawing also featured the words “No to war” and “Glory to Ukraine.”

The school called the police, and the girl was questioned. Moskalyov was fined and eventually prosecuted and convicted over his social media posts.

With reporting by AP