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Pskov Court: Claim for Annulment of Kirill Kuzmin's Adoption 'Insufficient'

A Pskov court on Wednesday deferred acceptance of a claim brought by the regional prosecutor and state social services to annul the adoption of Kirill Kuzmin by Laura Shatto, the U.S. adoptive mother at the center of the latest adoption battle.

The claim comes days after the boy's biological mother, Yulia Kuzmina, appealed to social services in Pskov to help her restore custody over 2-year-old Kirill after the boy's 3-year-old brother, Maxim Kuzmin, died in the custody of his adoptive parents in Texas.

The boy's death triggered a verbal firestorm between Russian and U.S. officials, with children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov repeatedly demanding that the remaining brother be returned to Russia and initially accusing the adoptive mother of killing Maxim.

The Pskov court cited "insufficiencies" in the statement of claim submitted for the adoption's annulment, however.

The complainants have now been given until March 25 to rectify those insufficiencies and "present evidence confirming the necessity to annul the adoption," Interfax reported, citing Yulia Pron, a spokeswoman for the court.

The investigation into Maxim Kuzmin's death is still under way.

Laura Shatto told investigators she found him unresponsive outside after leaving him to play with his brother.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has said it is "not necessary" to return Kirill to Russia, and that it's more likely he'd be placed into foster care or with other relatives if Shatto were to lose custody of him.

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