Dead Russian Adoptees: The White Book, a Russian resource

White Paper (Book):Victims of Foreign Adoption is a Russian web source on the abuse and deaths of Russian adoptees in the United States and elsewhere. It includes an English language translation The English, though, seems to be done by bot and it’s not totally reliable, (ex. White Book translates as White Paper) but gives a good idea of what is in the original. Continue Reading →

Yana and Toli Kolenda: Two Murdered Russian Adoptees You Never Hear About

There are indeed 20 Russian adoptees that we know of who have been murdered by abuse or neglect. in the US, but the “official” count is 17 (though that can be disputed due to a couple of acquittals, even if the evidence showed otherwise) because the deaths of the other three do not follow the pattern of Russian adoptee murders. Their deaths had nothing to do with their adoptive status, nor were they abused, neglected, or isolated from the community.
On October 20, 2002, Yana and Toli Kolenda, more than five years after their adoption, and their adoptive mother Gienia, were murdered by their depressed out-of-work adoptive father Richard Kolenda who then committed. suicide. In 2010 Kirill Kazankov, (adopted name Jackson Atusso,) 8 was brutally murdered by a teenage stranger during a family outing. Neither the Russian government nor media has cited these cases in their condemnation of the American adoption system.

I am writing about the Kolendas tonight and Kirill Kazankov in a day or so. They are not footnotes and deserve their own separate entries.. I will also add them to In Memoriam. Continue Reading →

Another Dead Russian Adoptee: Maksim Kuzmin/Max Alan Shatto

Russian media reports that another Russian adoptee has been murdered by his forever family. Best coverage so far comes from RT (Russian Television) and the Siberian Times.  A few minutes ago, The Dallas Observer’s Eric Nicholson picked up the story in his blog.  Although I’m seeing accounts from  the Australian , British, and Israeli press,  US media is so far silent, but I suspect that will change in a few hours. RT reports that on January 21, a Russian adoptee identified as Maksim Kuzmin, 3,  living in Texas, died after a brutal beating at the hands of his adoptive mother. An autopsy showed that he suffered from severe trauma to his head, limbs, abdomen, and internal organs.  The autopsy also indicated that he was full of Risperdal, a  controversial anti psychotic drug approved by the USDA for treatment  for schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder in children over the age of 10,  but it has recently been used in the treatment of autism. The  English-language Siberian Times identifies the boy by his adoptive name Max Alan Shatto.  The article (no byline) says that Maksim was born in the Komi Republic in the far north of Russia, west of the Urals.  Natalya Vishnevskaya, chief doctor at the Pechor Orphanage, identified the boy as coming from her children’s home, but did Continue Reading →

Ivan Skorobogatov : Cravers Lose Appeal

The Cravaers were back on court this week . Both courts.  The results were as expected. Wednesday morning, York County Common Pleas Court Judge John S Kennedy, who presided at their trial, denied separate appeals from the Cravers for retrials. The couple, who earlier escaped death penalty specs, was tried for murder, but convicted on lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of child endangerment, and conspiracy.  They appealed their case on the flimsy grounds that their convictions were “against the weight of the evidence.” The Cravers were charged in the death of their adoptive son Vanya  Skorobogatov  who died of severe beatings and malnutrition  in 2009. In their appeals, the couple argued that with their convictions and probations hanging over their heads, they can’t find work and have been forced to move in with friends.  Michael Craver is reportedly an Air Force veteran and an engineer by profession.. Thrown into the pot (which I’d not seen published  before) was the couple’s request that their court costs of nearly $100,000 be cut  half. Some people just don’t’ know when to quit.when they’re ahead. I disagreed with the flop to involuntary manslaughter and the wrist-slap sentence.  I thought Judge Kennedy equivocated Continue Reading →

Russian Adoptee Reported Murdered in Canada

Voice of Russia says that a 4-year old Russian-Canadian  adoptee  named Sasha, has been beaten to death by the live-in boyfriend of his Forever Mother. Saturday, Russian Children’s  Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov sent a  tweet about  the death which I’ve read, but offered no other details, and as of this writing there are no additional messages.  No statement has  been published by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science in either Russian or English or by TAR-Tass News Agency or any other Russian online source.  .  I’ll be watching this story. UPDATE: One of my readers, Andraya Charette has pointed out to me that this is an old case from 2002–but that the Russian government  has only now has become aware of it.  The little boy’s name was Sacha Valee.  I have some more information on the case, but it’s late, so I’ll put it up tomorrow probably.. Andraya pointed me to an article published today by the Russian Legal Information Agency (l’l be linking that  publication permanently in my sidebar on Niko) article, Children’s Ombudsman reports death of Russian-born child adopted in Canada..  The article quotes RIA Novisti, which wasn’t listed when I googled earlier this evening: “It is Continue Reading →

More Trouble for Russian-US Adoption Relations: Russians say they didn’t know about Dykstra case until after trial

The other day I wondered why the Russian government  hadn’t commented on last month’s acquittal of Brian Dykstra, charged with murdering his adoptive Russian son, Isaac Jonathan Dykstra.  Now we know why. The Russian government didn’t know about the case!  I almost find this too fantastic to believe. Isaac (whose birth name has now been revealed in the Russia press as Ilya Kargyntsev), died in 2005 after being in the US for only three months.. Under Russian-US adoption agreements, the US government is required to report the death of any Russian adoptee immediately to appropriate Russian Federation authorities. Remember that’s how back in 2008, European Adoption Consultants got in trouble   (see other EAC posts in right sidiebar for more) after the accidental death of  Dmitri Yakolev/Chase Harrison. The agency failed to report the death in a timely manner that satisfied the Russians.  ‘m not sure if that agreement was in force at the time of Ilya’s death, but it’s been negotiated since and more safeguards (for what they’re worth) are waiting to be ratified by the State Duma, Common sense tells us the death should have been reported, even late, if for no other reason than to try to look Continue Reading →

Ivan Skorobogatov: Investigative Committee Rejects Court Ruling; Intends to Continue Craver and Possibly Other Prosecutions

The Russian Investigative Committee (IC), undetered by yesterday’s decision by Moscow’s Basmanny Court and the Russian General Prosecutor, to dismiss IC’s petition to extradite  Michael and Nanette Craver, has declared its intent to continue its prosecution of the couple even if the prosecution has  been ruled “illegal..”(see blog directly below this for details) According to RIA Novisti,  Vladimir Markin, spokesperson for the IC said the investigation in to the Cravers will continue no matter what the court rules: “The refusal of a Russian court to arrest the Cravers in absentia will not hinder further investigation of the criminal case in Russia, as well as the international efforts to find the suspects, detain and extradite them,”  He said that though international laws prohibit a second sentence for the same crime, it applies only to legal procedures in one state, within the national jurisdiction. I have no idea what this second paragraph means.  It appears to be a deliberate misreading of US and international law, and the Basammy and General Prosecutor’s office’s interpretation of both..  There is simply no way for the Cravers to be retried here. Unless there was  unique jurisdaictional stipulation in the adoption agreement  that gave  Russian authorities some Continue Reading →

Vanya Skorobogatov. Russian Court and Prosecutors Refuse to Issue Warrant for Michael and Nanette Craver; Vanya Victim of "RAD" Quackery?

Russian media reports tonight that  the Moscow Bassamy District Court, backed by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office. has refused to issue a warrant for the in abstensia arrest and trial of Michael and Nannette Craver in the death of their Forever Son, Vanya  Skorobogatov. (Nathaniel Craver)  Citing double jeopardy, the court said any prosecution of the Cravers by Russian authorities would be “illegal;.” The Cravers, originally charged with homicide (with aborted death penalty specifications), conspiracy and child endangerment,  were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in September, and in mid-November were sentenced to time served and  3/1 years probation.. An autopy revealed 80 injuries to the boy including 20 to his head. The Russian Investigative Committee placed the couple on INTERPOL’s wanted list (they have never appeared on the online INTERPOL list) and called for their arrest and trial in absentia. From ITAR-TASS: The prosecutor explained that the U.S. citizens had already been convicted on this case in their native country, “which means that they cannot be prosecuted for the same crime in Russia”. Therefore, the prosecutor’s representative (Vanya  said that he objects to the arrest of the U.S. citizens in absentia. In connection with the verdict earlier passed to the Continue Reading →

Ivan Skorobogatov: Russians Say Cravers Now on INTERPOL Wanted List; Couple Will Be Tried for Murder In Absentia Next Week

Russian media reports that the Russian government is ready to charge US citizens Michael and Nanette Craver with murder in the death of their adopted son, Ivan Skorobogatov, (Nathaniel Craver) 7.  Two months ago, the couple, originally charged with homicide (with aborted death penalty specifications), conspiracy and child endangerment, was found guilty by a jury in York County, Pennsylvania, of involuntary murder  Last Friday,  they were sentenced to 19 months time- served  while awaiting trial, and placed on five years probation.  An autopsy  revealed Vanya had 80 external injuries, including 20 to his head and suffered from malnutrition.  He died after being taken off life support. Incredibly, a jury bought the Cravers’ defense that Vanya died of repeated self-inflicted injuries and mutilations.due to FAS,  See, the Forever Couple  simply neglected to care for him correctly!  According to an ITAR-TASS story filed on November 21 the Cravers have been (or will be) placed on the INTERPOL Wanted List. As of this writing they are not on the INTERPOL online database, but I’ll keep checking. The Russian Investigative Committee charged in absentia the Craver spouses with murder accusations of Vanya Skorobogatov in the US and puts them on the international wanted list Continue Reading →

Ivan Skorobogatov/Nathaniel Craver Case Update: Killers Walk

Once again, the dust and bone of a dead Russian adoptee has been swept under the rug.  After spending 19 months in jail awaiting trial (and after trial on the street waiting sentencing)  for the murder of Ivan Skorobogatov, 7, his  forever parents  Michael J and Nanette  L Craver are walking. Vanya and his twin sister Dasha (now known as Elizabeth)  were adopted in 2003 from an orphanage in Troitsk, Chelyabinsk region, through Lutheran Social Services of the South. The agency is no longer accredited in Russia. Vanya, lasting longer  (as far as we know) than the other dead  Russian adoptee, died on August 25, 2009 of what York County, Pennsylvania authorities describe as severe beating and malnourishment.  The autopsy revealed Vanya suffered 80 external injuries, including 20 to his  head. After a six month investigation, the Cravers were charged with homicide, conspiracy and child endangerment. In May 2010, York County Senior deputy prosecutor Jennifer Russell, citing Vanya’s age and the state’s contention that his death constituted torture, said she would seek the death penalty. But the best laid plans… Instead, in September this year, when the Cravers got their day, a jury of their so-called peers bought the couple’s Continue Reading →