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Moscow Couples Keep Parental Rights After Bringing Children to Protests

Pyotr and Yelena Khomsky Screenshot Youtube

Two Russian couples have gotten away with a warning after authorities had threatened to strip them of parental rights over their young children for taking them to unauthorized anti-Kremlin rallies in Moscow.

The two couples faced losing custody after being filmed with their children at what the authorities said were unauthorized rallies in support of opposition politicians on July 27 and Aug. 3.

Two Moscow courts ruled in quick succession behind closed doors Monday to allow Pyotr and Yelena Khomsky, then Dmitry and Olga Prokazov, to keep custody of their children.

The courts have issued warnings to both the Khomskys and the Prozakovs, Interfax reported Tuesday. Pyotr Khomsky said he and his wife plan to appeal the warning.

"[The authorities] want to crack down so that other people won’t want to do the same thing," Pyotr Khomsky had told the Meduza news website last month. "The message is ‘Leave your kids at home and don’t get them involved.’ ... We’re not the goal — fear is the goal."

This story has been updated to remove a quote from the Khomskys' lawyer.

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