On July 27, 2020, in Karelian Kondopoga, 16-year-old Valeria Maneyeva came out with a poster to the building of the local administration.
On an unfolded Whatman sheet, she turned to a certain Spiridonov, Gnetneva and Sokolova with the demand: "Give us back our parents."
Yuri Spiridonov - First Deputy Head of Administration of the Kondopoga Municipal District.
Anastasia Gnetneva - Deputy Head of the Social Policy Department of the Administration of the same district.
Olga Sokolova - Minister of Social Protection of Karelia.
Valeria is an orphan.
Mother died in 2012, father died even earlier.
Valeria was then 8 years old.
She, along with her sister Vera and brother Kolya (the boy's name has been changed), who are now 15 and 17 years old, was taken by one of the relatives.
But literally a month later, I realized that I would not be able to cope with the role of a foster parent - the children ended up in an orphanage.
From there, in 2013, Olga and Vladimir Semyonovs took them to their place, who at that time already had their own eight-year-old daughter.
"Their mother is my great-aunt," Olga Semyonova explained to RT.
“We communicated closely with her, and we know the children from birth.”
According to Vladimir Semyonov, he was even going to apply for adoption.
In this case, children are issued with other birth certificates, which include the new parents.
They receive exactly the same responsibilities and rights as biological mom and dad.
“In the guardianship itself, they explained to me that this was wrong, - it is much better, first of all for children, to arrange a foster family,” Vladimir recalls in a conversation with RT.
- The state will pay a pension to the children themselves as orphans, a child support allowance and, separately, a remuneration to a foster parent.
Plus, if children are considered orphans, then at 18 they will be given free living space.
And the benefits for admission to the university ”.
Vladimir became the guardian.
By 2019, Olga gave birth to three more children (the youngest is now 1.5 years old).
As a result, the Semyonov family had seven children: three adopted and four relatives.
Vladimir Semyonov is 39 years old, during his military service he fought in Chechnya, later graduated from vocational school.
Now he has his own team of electricians.
Olga once received the specialty of a cashier.
But for 15 years now she has been dealing exclusively with home and children.
Until recently, her only place of work was the editor-in-chief of the public "What Kondopoga is Talking About" on VKontakte.
In 2018 and 2019, respectively, Olga and Vladimir received higher legal education.
The family's substantial income came from state aid.
For each adopted child, the monthly salary of the adoptive parent was paid - 6,159 rubles (excluding income tax), as well as maintenance allowances (8,770 rubles) and about 12,000 rubles of children's pension.
For only three - about 78 thousand rubles "clean".
The Semyonovs in Kondopoga have a four-room apartment (73 sq. M.).
Outside the city, Vladimir is building a house.
On a plot of 50 acres there is a vegetable garden.
A couple of years ago, they kept chickens, pigs, cows: they had their own dairy products, meat, eggs.
Take away and divide
The family's problems began in the summer of 2019, when Kolya's eldest (adoptive) son disappeared from home.
Then he was 16 years old.
Three days later, the police found the boy sleeping on the beach and took him to the police station.
He wrote a statement that he refuses to return to his foster parent - he wants to go to live in an orphanage.
The young man said that he and Semyonov had constant conflicts, Vladimir allegedly beat him with a shovel (however, the medical examination did not reveal any traces of such beatings).
The guardianship authorities immediately came to the Semyonovs and took away other adopted children - Kolya's sisters Vera and Valeria, who were then 14 and 15 years old.
Olga and Vladimir Semyonov in 2017 at home with the future head of Karelia Artur Parfyonchikov
© Photo from personal archive
Conflicts between adolescents and their parents are found in many families.
But, according to the observations of the Ombudsman for the Rights of the Child in the Republic of Karelia Gennady Saraev, this happens much more often in families where step-children are brought up.
“The worst thing is returning children,” the ombudsman told RT.
- They took an adopted child, until a certain moment everything is fine.
And in adolescence, he breaks down.
He is tired of the control from the family, and in the orphanage, it seems to him, it will be freer.
It happens that even my own grandmother comes into custody and says that she can no longer cope, and asks to be taken to the orphanage.
In the case of the Semyonovs, when a threat to life and health was announced, the guardianship authorities were obliged to take the children.
And then check.
And make every effort to help the family live a normal life so that the same Kolya returns to the Semyonovs.
But they didn't. "
After a meeting with representatives of the guardianship, the administration of the Kondopoga municipal district issued a resolution - to remove Vladimir Semyonov from the duties of a guardian.
The foster children were seized and placed first in the “Nadezhda Children's Help Center” - in fact, the same orphanage.
Then he was transferred to an orphanage in Kostomuksha - about 440 km from Kondopoga.
A noteworthy detail: the question of the maintenance of their own children was not even raised by the guardianship, they were left with the Semyonovs.
In an informal conversation with social security specialists, RT clarified how the guardianship would have behaved if his own son, and not the adopted one, had got into the police.
Of course, they are trying to find other ways of solving problems for their own fathers and children, employees answered.
Since then, Kolya never returned home.
He is 17 years old, he lives in Kondopoga in the care of another family (in a family-type orphanage).
He is studying to be a locksmith at a local college.
Since then, I have not seen the Semyonovs again and does not want to see each other.
His sister Vera (now 15 years old) was rushing home at first.
But she gradually got involved in a new life: fewer problems with studies, no household responsibilities for a large family.
“Nobody forces them to study there - they just give positive marks and that's it,” says Vladimir Semyonov.
- In addition, Vera met a boy there, because of whom she does not want to return home this year.
But she will be coming on vacation.
And when they finish the ninth grade a year later, he will leave for Petrozavodsk, and she will return to us. "
In a telephone conversation with an RT correspondent, Vera confirmed these plans.
With her parents (Olga and Vladimir the girl calls "mom" and "dad") she is constantly in touch, sometimes the Semyonovs come to her.
But Valeria refuses to live in an orphanage.
She fled from Kostomuksha, refused to return.
After that she was transferred back to Kondopoga to the Nadezhda center.
But in fact she does not live there - she runs away to the Semyonovs, that is, as she herself believes, to her home.
“In principle, you can leave everything as it is,” says Vladimir Semyonov.
- Kolya does not want to live with us.
If he comes back, even in a few years, then, of course, I will.
So far Vera likes it in Kostomuksha.
Lera still lives with us.
We only lose state aid, so we can do without it.
The only thing is that we live under threat all the time.
The administration of the Nadezhda center is formally obliged to declare Vera on the wanted list, and if the authorities want to, I can be accused of kidnapping or unlawful detention of a child. "
Money and something personal
According to the observation of the children's ombudsman Gennady Saraev, the problem of the Semyonovs is based on an exclusively personal long-standing conflict with the employees of the guardianship authorities.
It began, according to Vladimir Semyonov, a long time ago - when he discovered that part of the foster children 's retirement money (about 50 thousand rubles) in 2012 were received through the Russian Post by the same relative who first took the orphans.
Without the sanction of guardianship, according to the law, they could not pay.
The guardianship denied issuing its permission.
Vladimir raised a scandal, putting custody in a very delicate position.
As a result, he sued the money from the first guardian.
New conflicts soon began.
And again because of the children's pension money.
The guardian can only spend these funds on children and only with the permission of the social security staff.
“You have to come to guardianship, bring a statement, indicate how much you are going to spend on what exactly, there it must be approved,” says Vladimir.
- Since these expenses are periodic, it is inconvenient to run to the guardianship every time.
But I found out that another form is allowed by law.
Pensions are transferred to the so-called nominal account, which I manage without asking anyone.
And once, at the end of the year, I provide the guardianship with reports on all expenses. "
According to Vladimir, at first for a long time he could not get the guardianship to recognize his right to switch to this form of spending-reports, and then the guardianship refused to accept his reports.
The Semyonovs are generally known in Kondopoga as social activists.
Vladimir has gratitude from the regional administration for help in celebrating Defender of the Fatherland Day, for organizing and conducting Epiphany bathing.
Some time ago he put forward his candidacy for the Republican Legislative Assembly from an opposition party.
In Olga's public pages, problems that are unpleasant for local authorities are often raised.
The Semyonovs, if they believe that their rights have been violated, instantly rush into the attack.
They even managed to get into a conflict with the Ombudsman Gennady Saraev.
Corresponding with him on social networks, they called him an incompetent official.
Last year, examining their case, Saraev met in Kostomuksha with Valeria (then still 15 years old).
After that, she wrote a statement on him about sexual harassment - allegedly the child rights ombudsman "stroked her back and touched her like a man."
True, even after that, Saraev in the current struggle for Valeria is on the side of the Semyonovs.
Anastasia Gnetneva, deputy head of the social policy department of the administration of the Kondopozhsky municipal district - the main opponent of the Semyonovs - described to RT her vision of the situation.
According to her, Vladimir Semyonov himself did not systematically submit reports.
Once, at the request of the guardianship, the police conducted an investigation, suspecting Vladimir of fraud.
“Semyonov withdrew (from the children's account. -
), with the written permission of the guardianship authorities, 150 thousand rubles allegedly for a summer vacation for children - a trip to Pskov in his car,” says Gnetneva.
- And when reporting, he said that he had lost a packet with receipts from the hotel and the like.
The police proved that Semyonov with children was not in any Pskov.
This was evidenced by the billing data of Semyonov's phone and traffic cameras on the highway.
But the case was then dropped.
Although the money was not spent on the trip to Pskov, the police had no reason to assert that Semyonov had spent it on himself and not on the children. "
Anastasia Gnetneva is convinced that the Semyonovs took adopted children solely for the sake of money.
However, not everyone agrees with Gnetneva's opinion.
“At the very beginning, we all thought so.
But as time passed, they realized that money was not in the first place, - Olga Klevina, director of the State Budgetary Institution of SO RK “Nadezhda Children's Help Center”, told RT.
- And judging by what I am now observing, Semyonov in relation to Lera behaves like an ordinary father.
Marina Korotkikh, the former head of the district guardianship authorities, under which the foster family was created, is also sure that the Semyonovs really felt sorry for the orphans.
In addition to financial claims, over the past 7 years, the guardianship sometimes had other questions to the Semyonovs.
Anastasia Gnetneva spoke about the signals from the school about the absence of classes by foster children - first of all, by this, Kolya.
In her opinion, the children did not just skip, but during school hours they were “exploited” on their personal plot and other similar household jobs.
“There is a psychological conclusion of the candidate of psychological sciences that irreparable damage has been inflicted on children while living in this family,” Gnetneva says.
- Semyonov was twice brought to administrative responsibility for improper performance of guardianship duties.
As Olga Semyonova explained, my husband was warned when he went to the police after Kolya's disappearance - this happens automatically, these are the rules.
According to Gnetneva, after the adopted children were seized, the Semyonovs were not allowed to take their clothes from the house, and then they were not brought to the orphanage.
“Even some alcoholics who have been deprived of parental rights bring their children's things to the orphanage,” says Gnetneva.
- And here they were not even given cowards.
They were then supplied with everything they needed in the Nadezhda center.
Vera confirmed to RT that she was given winter clothes in an orphanage.
“We didn't leave Vera there,” Olga Semyonova comments on the official’s words.
- We are visiting.
We bought a mobile phone, we pay for it.
And everything else that she needs. "
Violations in guardianship actions
“In my opinion, the reason for this whole story is a flaw in the guardianship authorities,” comments Ombudsman Gennady Saraev.
“If she had turned on on time, provided the necessary legal and psychological assistance to foster parents, none of this would have happened.”
Some teachers who are observing the conflict and who are familiar with the Semyonov family agree with his assessment of the work of the guardianship authorities.
The teachers asked not to be named, explaining that "the city is small."
“How did we not turn on?
- Gnetneva is surprised.
- You can see for yourself: they monitored the spending of the orphans' money, and as soon as signals came from the school, they immediately reacted.
We came to the Semyonovs' home, tried to help, but they simply would not let us in ”.
Ombudsman Saraev believes that the guardianship authorities act “at least unprofessionally”.
“In 2019, at the request of Semyonov, the prosecutor’s office checked the work of the guardianship.
Semyonov complained about the lack of the necessary support, psychological support from the guardianship, which they are obliged to provide.
The prosecutor's office then found a violation in the guardianship actions.
And decided to bring Gnetneva and another employee to disciplinary responsibility, ”Saraev reminds.
“When Kolya's problems began, we ourselves asked for psychological help, but the guardianship ignored it.
And no one came to us, ”says Olga Semyonova.
"We will not take responsibility"
Meanwhile, 16-year-old Lera wants to live with foster parents, with younger (albeit not blood) siblings, three of whom were already born with her - she helps Olga take care of them.
This is her family, she has no other.
Lera clearly expressed her desire with her picket with a poster, and confirmed by phone to an RT correspondent.
Gennady Saraev, who promised support from his side, and Olga Klevina, director of the Nadezhda Center, agree that she should be returned to the family.
Anastasia Gnetneva explains this position simply: the Semyonovs have already “gotten so bad of everyone” that it’s easier to give them Leroux, “if only they were already silent”.
But at the same time, responsibility for the decision will be on Gnetneva and her superiors.
In the meantime, a 16-year-old girl was fined 10 thousand rubles for a picket - according to the law, minors are not allowed to organize even a single protest.
After 16 years, the fine is imposed not on the legal representative (in this case, the administration of the orphanage), but personally on the child.
The situation is stalemate.
The district authorities cannot cancel their own resolution on the removal of Vladimir Semyonov from the duties of a guardian - in this case, they will have to recognize him as erroneous and illegal, punish those responsible.
And the law prohibits the appointment of a guardian of a person who has already been removed from guardianship.
“You can make Olga Semyonova a guardian, I don’t understand why she still hasn’t applied for custody?”, Both Ombudsman Saraev and director Klevina said this phrase in a conversation with RT.
I received the answer to this question in custody.
“Olga Semyonova has the right to submit an application, collect a package of documents,” explained Anastasia Gnetneva.
- We will accept the application, consider and decide on the impossibility of being a guardian.
Both in the case of the complete transfer of the child, and in the so-called guest mode.
Because the child will actually go to the same family, to live with the same Vladimir Semyonov, from whom the girl was taken.
We will not take responsibility.
Olga Semyonova can appeal our decision in court.
And if the court of its own free will hand over the child to her, then the custody will not be responsible for this decision. "
“Guardianship here is not guided by the interests of the child, but covers itself - those mistakes that were made earlier,” believes Gennady Saraev.
Other observers agree with his opinion.
What decision the court will make is unknown, but with a formal approach it will be guided by the recommendations of the same guardianship.
However, Leroux will certainly be heard in court.
"If the child confirms his desire to return to the family, then in court we will support him in this," Olga Klevina, director of the Nadezhda center, promised RT.
But the court does not decide whether to give up the child or not; it determines the legality of the decision of the district administration.
RT sent a letter to the Minister of Social Protection of Karelia Olga Sokolova.
We asked the minister to give his own assessment of the situation in Kondopoga.
The answer came over the signature of the acting
Minister, First Deputy Ivan Skrynnikov: “
The main task of the guardianship and guardianship authorities is to protect the rights and legitimate interests of orphans and children left without parental care.
Unfortunately, the child's desire is not always in his interests ... Additionally, we inform you that until now the spouse of the former adoptive parent has not applied to the guardianship and guardianship authorities with the necessary package of documents for registration of guardianship ...
Accordingly, the issue of the possibility (impossibility) of transferring Valeria under the guardianship of the wife of the former adoptive parent was not considered
"An option was voiced in which Vladimir and I would issue a fictitious divorce - formally, I will be considered a separate family," Olga Semyonova told RT.
That is, in order to preserve the family, return the child to it, it is proposed, albeit formally, to destroy this family.
RT appealed to the head of the Republic of Karelia, Artur Parfenchikov, so that, with his commentary, he might suggest to the regional authorities a way to solve the problem.
Deputy Prime Minister for Health and Social Protection Igor Korsakov answered for Artur Parfyonchikov.
The text almost completely repeated the letter from the Ministry of Social Protection.