Finnish Orthodox clerics stand up for a Russian woman deprived of her kids

The Orthodox parish in Helsinki whose members include Anastasia Zavgorodnaya is planning to appeal social services' move to take the Russian woman's four children into their custody.

"Until now we have often contacted the mom, and we are sure that there is no danger for the children in the family," deacon Juha Lampinen told the largest Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, in an interview, a transcript of which appeared in Tuesday's issue of the daily.

"Taking a newborn baby who is five days old from their mother in the course of a special police operation is something that makes you think of a novel by Franz Kafka," well-known Finnish Orthodox priest Heikki Huttunen told the paper. "Finnish authorities discriminate against Russian mothers."

At the same time, the head of the social services of Vantaa, the city where Zavgorodnaya lives, brushed aside accusations of Russophobia. "We have the best law on the protection of children in the world," Anna Cantell-Forsblom said. However, she said she knew nothing about the Zavgorodnaya affair.

Zavgorodnyaya reportedly had her children taken away from her after her six-year-old daughter said at school that her father had given her a slap on the behind.

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