Tit for tat in US-Russia relationship is one of many traditions surviving the demise of the Soviet Union. The story of Dmitry Yakovlev bill, which was a Russian response to the Magnitsky bill was, however, so absurd that it defies imagination. And who better to explain the absurdity than a Russian journalist, the intrepid and hard hitting Yulia Leonidovna Latynina? Her article, titled Cannibal's mistake, deserves reading, thus deserves a translation, even if a poor one, with Google's help. But first - some background.
On December 19, the State Duma voted 400 to 4 to ban the international adoption of Russian children into the United States. The bill was named after Dmitri Yakovlev, a Russian toddler who died in 2008 of heat stroke, being neglected by his adoptive American father.
This measure was an obvious response (in the tit for tat custom) to the Magnitsky bill, so named after a tragic death of a Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitski, who died in prison, where he was put on a fabricated charge. Jailing of Magnitsky was a punishment for investigating and making public many cases of corruption by various Russian public officials and oligarchs.
So here comes Yulia Latynina to tell you about hypocrisy of the Dmitri Yakovlev bill. While a bit too naive about the American society, she doesn't mince words describing the grim reality of the modern Russia and its orphans.
In response to the "Magnitsky list" Duma deputies voted for a ban on the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. This is worse than a crime, it is a mistake. This error has split the Russian elite - not society, but the elite - more than the story of the Pussy Riot. And this mistake was made by Putin himself - he can't hide behind the Patriarch in this case.
According to various estimates, between 50% and 95% of Russian orphans become drug addicts, alcoholics and suicides. 60% of children in orphanages are sexually abused. In fact, the orphanages in Russia produce children suffering from "Mowgli syndrome". These children are not adjusted for living in human society.
Not all is well with the adoptive parents: according to official statistics, if the child is adopted by a Russian family, its chances to die are 39 times higher than in the West. (This statistic, of course, it's not just about the murders: it includes accidents, sickness, etc.) Unfortunately, the official statistics do not take into account the reality, because in the U.S. each missing child is an emergency, while in Russia a missing child doesn't necessarily cause even a criminal investigation.
For example, when in 2008 the bodies of 15 or even more girls were accidentally discovered near Nizhny Tagil (prostitution ring was stealing girls and killed those who refused to become prostitutes), it was found that not a single criminal investigation into the disappearance of the girls was opened. When in 2001 four girls disappeared in Kursk, no criminal charges have been filed. Nine years later a dog lover found the corpses, and it was immediately discovered that the girls were raped and killed by four boys, with whom they were last seen. But the killers were released. Apparently, in part because one of them has already become an in-law of the local FSB man.
Deputy Prosecutor Viktor Grin gave an example once: in the Orenburg region in 26 cases of missing children only one criminal case was open, and in the Perm region with 27 missing - not a single one. That is "39 times" - according to the official statistics alone. We don't have the real numbers.
That, essentially, is the most important difference. Adopted children - and own children - are sometimes killed. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally. This is the human nature. At all times, in all cultures, there are deviants and crazies.
But in the U.S. each such murder is an emergency. It appears on the front pages of newspapers, movies are made and books written about it.
In Russia murder of the children is not even news. Not because we are callous, but because there are too many murders.
In the U.S. child abuse becomes a criminal case. With us it becomes statistics. 60% of our orphans are being raped, and no one is jailed for it.
When a parent kills a child (in the U.S. or Russia it's the same) - we are looking at a psychopathic individual. But when 60% of orphans are raped in the country - this is a picture of the society and the state.
Caught in flagrante, Russian lawmakers embarked on a desperate, unbelievable lie. Duma deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov claimed that the adopted Russian children in US are "slaves, to whom even U.S. law does not apply".
Duma deputy Goryacheva expressed confidence that 10% of children are dismantled for their bodies' parts and the rest will be used "for a war with Russia."
President Putin said that Americans who have had killed Russian adoptive children, are "freed from criminal liability," but the best argument belongs to high priest Vsevolod Chaplin. He stated that children adopted by Americans "do not get into the kingdom of heaven." (Well, yes, but those that weren't adopted get there very quickly.)
Our society was divided. It turns out that a part of the Russian elite knows as much about America as did bin Laden. And the driving force of this "knowledge" is Putin himself.
This is a serious mistake, hitherto not typical for Putin, who has always preferred to avoid sudden decisions. ... Is this the result of some Putin's health problems? - difficult to say, but we can say that Kremlin is creating all their problems for themselves. Only to blame the problems later on the external and internal enemies.