The State Duma on Thursday denied reports that an orphan from Chelyabinsk appealed to President Vladimir Putin to allow his pending adoption by a U.S. family to be completed and deemed the incident a provocation.
Yekaterina Lakhova, a State Duma deputy and one of the authors of the recently passed bill banning adoptions by U.S. families, said in comments carried by RIA-Novosti: "Clearly, this boy didn't do this without the help of an adult. And to create a provocation with this boy, I'm simply amazed that someone could do that. It could only be done with the help of a grown-up."
Several news outlets on Thursday reported that a 14-year-old foster child in a Chelyabinsk boarding school, Maxim Kargopoltsev, had written to both Putin and the State Duma asking to allow his adoption by U.S. parents to be completed.
The reports said the boy had already known his potential adoptive family for seven years, but that they hadn't managed to complete the final paperwork before the new adoptions law was passed.
However, the director of the boarding school where Maxim studies, Denis Matsko, denied these reports and said that he suspected a certain news portal in Chelyabinsk stood behind the rumors, Lenta.ru said.
Matsko said a news outlet had approached Maxim earlier with a request for him to write such an appeal using their news outlet, but "Maxim refused. To them the idea evidently seemed too tempting and they decided to publish it as truth anyways."