A Russian girl has been shut away in a grim state orphanage after she drew a ‘No to War’ picture with the words ‘Glory to Ukraine’.
Masha Moskalyova was removed from her single parent father Alexei Moskalyov, 54, following a terrifying inquisition by Vladimir Putin’s FSB counterintelligence service – and is allowed no contact with the outside world.
The move by the draconian Russian authorities has provoked outrage with an 80,000-signature petition demanding she is allowed home.
The father has not been permitted to communicate with his daughter.
The pair are seen together in a video before they were separated. The video shows the drawing which depicts Russian missiles fired at a peaceful Ukraine.
The petition calls Masha’s treatment “monstrous” and cites experts saying there are “no legal grounds” to incarcerate her in a Tula region “rehabilitation” centre, part of the state orphanage system.
It demands the authorities “immediately release” the girl to her father who is “morally crushed” by the child being removed from his care.
It was launched by Andrey Morev from the anti-Putin Yabloko party.
Masha is described as “withdrawn” over the cruel and vindictive treatment with campaigners saying she “wants to go home”.
Girl reported to police by school teacher
The repressive action against the schoolgirl began when she drew an anti-war picture at school in April 2022.
Pupils had been asked to do artwork in support of Russia’s troops.
She was reported to police by a teacher, and quizzed by the FSB, Putin’s feared counterintelligence service.
Her father was questioned and found to have posted his support for Ukraine and caricatures of Vladimir Putin on social media for which he was fined A$633.
"In January 2023, the municipal commission for juvenile affairs filed a lawsuit to limit the parental rights of Masha’s father," the petition reads.
"When in February 2023 Alexei was arrested for "discrediting" the army, Masha was taken from her home and sent to a social rehabilitation centre."
Alexei is currently on house arrest, facing up to three years in jail if convicted in a criminal case of discrediting Putin’s invading troops.
The father claimed he had been threatened by the FSB.
“For three and a half hours they told me that I was not raising the child in the right way,” he said. “They said they would take her from me, and will sentence me.”
A local politician Olga Podolskaya sought to visit Masha but said she was denied entry.
“The door is closed and they will not allow us in," she said. “They talk rudely through the door.”
Attempts to get a mobile phone to the girl have been rebuffed.
They believe she is being illegally barred from speaking to her father.
Journalist Andrey Posh described the case as “complete dehumanisation” by the state.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.