Finnish authorities allowed Russian mother to take her children home

Russian mother Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya, who had all of her children, including a new-born baby, seized from her by the Finnish authorities on allegations of child abuse earlier this month, has been allowed to take her children home.

"She is free! Her children are free! The family is reunited! Thanks a lot to [Russian children's ombudsman] Pavel Astakhov, thanks to 'Russian Mothers', to trade unions and to Russian journalists. We will remember all those who supported her in this time of trouble," Finnish human rights campaigner Johan Backman told Interfax on Thursday.

Zavgorodnyaya's children were forcibly taken from the family and placed in a shelter after her 6-year-old daughter complained at school that her father had given her a slap on the backside.

After the Russian embassy intervened, Zavgorodnyaya was permitted to stay in the shelter with her baby, with her other children living separately from her.

A few days later, the authorities seized two children from yet another Russian mother, A. Kasatkina, following a telephone call from her former husband's new girlfriend alleging that she was abusing her children.

A total of 51 children have been seized from 36 mixed Russian-Finnish families in Finland over recently, according to the Russian Mothers organization.

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