Russian woman allowed to live together with her children at Finnish social service center

Finland's social services have allowed Russian citizen Anastasia Zavgorodnaya to live together with her children at one of the services' centers.

"Zavgorodnaya and her lawyer met with representatives of the Finnish social services on [Wednesday] evening. A consul of the Russian Embassy in Finland attended this meeting," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said at a press briefing on Thursday.

"As a result of the meeting, Zavgorodnaya was permitted to live together with her children at one of the Finnish social services' centers. At the same time, the Russian woman herself will have to decide when she will reside at this specialized institution," he said.

"A final decision on the possibility for Zavgorodnaya to live together with her children is expected to be adopted on Nov. 7," he said.

It was reported on September 29 that Finnish social services took away Zavgorodnaya's four children, including her newborn son, accusing the Russian woman of mistreating them. Zavgorodnaya has rejected the accusations.

Russian Mothers international movement activist Rimma Salonen said earlier that "the children were taken away from their parents after Anastasia's six-year-old daughter Veronica said at school at her dad slapped her."

"School teacher Mari Romppanen alerted social services about the need to take all children away from their family," she said.

Veronica and two-year-old twins Ahmed and Maryam were taken away from their parents on Sept. 7. Anastasia, who was pregnant at that time, was arrested. She then gave birth to a boy, who was taken away from her when he was just one week old.

"The parents are happily married. They rejected the teacher's accusations. The parents have not been charged officially and they have not been given any explanation why the children were taken away from them. They have been told that in any case they will have to wait for the children's return for a long period of time because there are six-month-long queues at courts," Salonen said.

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