A three-year-old Russian boy adopted by Americans was killed by his new parents, Russian officials claimed on Tuesday.
US authorities said the cause of Max Shatto’s death on January 21 is still unclear. But Russia has opened a murder case amid claims the boy – who was born Maksim Kuzmin – was subjected to “inhuman treatment”.
Kremlin officials said his death endorsed a recent law that bans Americans from adopting Russian children.
Olga Batalina, First Deputy President of the Duma Commission for Families, Women and Children said:
“Unfortunately, the death of this child was not treated as a tragedy by US politicians. It probably wasn’t seen as a tragedy by anyone in the US. I think that we, Duma members, should not look upon this calmly.”
Officials in the US state of Texas where Shatto lived said they were baffled by Moscow’s reaction amid reports the toddler suffered from a heart condition.
His death left many Russian adoptees in limbo as they prepared to head to the US. One Russian MP’s urged parliament to stop any children approved before the new law took effect from travelling.