US ambassador frustrated over Russian boy’s death
MOSCOW (AP) – The US ambassador to Moscow on Friday called on Russian authorities and media to stop “sensational exploitations” of the death of an adopted boy in the United States.
The January 21 death of three-year-old Max Shatto, born Maxim Kuzmin, has fuelled a fight over Russian adoptions in the US as senior Russian officials accused the boy’s adopted mother, Laura Shatto, of killing the boy.
The medical examiner’s office in West Texas has not officially pronounced the cause of death and presented only early results, but the report of bruises on Max’s body – although their origin has not been established – made some Russians jump to a conclusion.
Russian children rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov last week branded the death as “killing” by Shatto’s adoptive American mother. The State Duma’s draft petition to US Congress on Friday mentioned that the death is “connected to the fact of violence” by the Shattos.
The Russian theory that the boy was killed has topped the news on state-controlled media which have been using the case to justify country’s move on December 28 to ban all adoptions to the US. The ban sparked criticism abroad and a thousands-strong protest rally in Moscow.