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Death of Adopted Russian Boy in Italy Sparks Outrage

Published: July 21, 2014 (Issue # 1820)



  • Children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The alleged killing of a five-year-old Russian boy by his adoptive Italian father has been met in Russia with mourning and calls for adoption reform, feeding an ongoing movement to keep orphans out of foreign hands.

Maxim Maravalle, last name Kichigin by birth, died on the night of July 17 in Pescara, Italy, according to a statement on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website. Several Russian media sources have reported that he was strangled.

"The crime was committed by the boy's adopted father — Massimo Maravalle, who was arrested by the police. Pescara's Prosecutor General has opened a criminal case against [him]," the statement said, citing information from the Italian government.

Maravalle is thought to have suffered from a psychological illness, a fact that, according to the Italian authorities, was never disclosed during the adoption process, which was concluded in 2012.

The Investigative Committee for the Amur region, where Maxim was born and adopted, has already opened a criminal case and is investigating members of the local government for "negligence in processing the [adoption] documents," as well as looking into the boy's living conditions in Italy, according to a statement published Sunday on the committee's website.

In a sign of the troubling direction the affair could take, the committee is also investigating the legality of the boy being sent abroad rather than into the care of Russian citizens or relatives.

Yelena Mizulina, a State Duma deputy and conservative moral crusader who was a driving force behind Russia's "gay propaganda" law, has meanwhile called for a probe into Italy's procedures for selecting adoptive parents.

"It is completely obvious that we need a thorough analysis of the entire procedure which exists in Italy for selecting candidates for adoption," Mizulina said, RIA Novosti reported.

The incident is all the more troubling given the fact that Italy is the leading destination for Russian children adopted by foreigners, she added.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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