In the city court of St. Petersburg, hearings are being held on the case of the expulsion of an eight-year-old girl from Russia.

Her mother lives in Australia with her partner and demands to return her daughter to Melbourne.

Earlier, the court of first instance ruled that the father of the child was illegally holding Varya (name changed. -

RT

) in Russia and ordered to send her to Australia.

The girl herself, who has Russian citizenship, said she wants to live with her father in Russia.



At the same time, the man claims that the mother takes poor care of her daughter and, together with her partner, corrupts her.

In this regard, he through the court seeks to restrict the woman's parental rights.

"Mother's partner kissed her daughter on the lips"

The girl's father Eugene (name changed. - 

RT

) was born in the Soviet Union.

In 1991, his parents emigrated first to Germany and then, five years later, to Australia.

There, the young man graduated from the university and became a specialist in the field of IT security.

In Australia, Eugene married a girl of Filipino origin named Maria (name changed. - 

RT

).

In 2013, the couple had a daughter, Varya (name changed. - 

RT

).

According to Eugene, Maria did not pay attention to her daughter.

The girl worked as a makeup artist and preferred to spend time at work or with friends, he says.

“When my daughter was three months old, my wife refused to stay at home with the child and took up a career,” Evgeny says in an interview with RT.

Two years later, the couple broke up, although they did not formalize the divorce.

According to the man, he found out that his wife was cheating on him and could not come to terms with it.

After the parents began to live separately, they agreed on custody of their daughter.

Varya spent 90% of her time with her father and 10% with her mother.

At first, this situation suited both of them - they signed a custody agreement without a trial.

In December 2016, according to Yevgeny, he tried to reconcile with his wife “for the sake of his daughter.”

But Maria told him that she is a lesbian and loves her friend, with whom they now live together.

Varya began to spend time not only with her mother, but also with her partner.

Eugene recalls that a few months later, in April 2017, his daughter told him for the first time how she was spending time at her mother's house.

“The daughter told me and my grandmother (my mother) that she was bathing in the same bath with her partner Maria, who was naked.

When the daughter slept in the same room with them, she witnessed them having sex.

Then Varya said that her mother's partner constantly kisses her on the lips and tells her that clothes should be worn without panties.

In addition, together with a four-year-old child, they watched inappropriate videos: shows with gays, lesbians and transgender people, as well as videos about childbirth and transvestites.

I also learned from my daughter that women told her about the castration of men and artificial insemination,” says Evgeny.

According to him, after staying at the mother’s house, the girl began to complain of itching in the genital area - the child told his father that the mother and her friend touched her in the genital area, and this frightened the girl: she cried and asked to stop doing that.

The man took his daughter to a psychologist, who spent 13 consultations with her to find out how she relates to her parents.

In conclusion, the specialist noted that the girl does not like to talk about her mother and her partner.

“The girl remembered a couple of nightmares, where the mother and her partner turned into scary monsters.

The father and paternal grandmother play a primary role in the emotional and intellectual development of the child, ”the psychologist noted in conclusion.

He also revealed that Varya considers the house of her father and grandmother to be her "emotional home", and concluded that limiting communication with them would harm her mental health.

Guardianship revised

After the girl told her dad about the unpleasant touch for her, the man turned to the police department investigating sexual crimes.

But achieved nothing.

“The Australian Family Court refused to hear the evidence and facts of our lawyer about the sexual and non-traditional LGBT influence on the child, as well as the neglect of the child by the mother, her partner, and the mother’s parents, which caused psychological trauma to the child,” says the girl’s father .

According to him, the lawyer strongly advised him to accept the court's decision, since with the new policy of tolerance, Yevgeny could not count on full or preferential custody of his daughter.

The man is sure that the decision of the court was influenced by the fact that in December 2017 same-sex marriage was legalized in Australia.

The family of Eugene is sure that Maria wanted to get custody of her daughter for selfish purposes.

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  • © Keiichi Hibari / EyeEm

“At first, she was fine with the fact that she spends 10% of the time with her child.

But then she lost her job, and then Maria filed documents to officially become a single mother.

Then she could receive an allowance from the state - 2 thousand Australian dollars a month.

With this money, you can live well and not work at the same time, ”Vari’s paternal grandmother says in an interview with RT.

In March 2018, the family court determined a new order of communication with the child: 50 to 50.

After the court decision, Varya began to visit her mother more often.

Eugene claims that this communication had a depressing effect on the girl.

“Before Varya had to be handed over to her mother, she constantly had an upset stomach and panic.

She cried, but Maria dragged her into the car and said that her daughter was still too small to decide for herself who she would live with, ”he recalls.

Decided not to return to Australia

In 2019, Evgeny and Maria filed an official divorce, and at the beginning of 2020, the man told his ex-wife that he wanted to take Varya to Russia to visit relatives whom she had never seen.

In the same year, Evgeny applied to the Russian consulate to issue a Russian passport for Anna.

Soon the girl received Russian citizenship.

Eugene himself already had dual citizenship, since he was born in Moscow. 

In the fall of 2020, Maria began legal proceedings demanding that her ex-husband be officially banned from taking her daughter out of Australia.

However, this time the court sided with the father: he allowed him to go abroad with his daughter, but ordered him to return with the child in November 2020. 

On October 26, Varya and her father flew to Russia.

In early November, they fell ill with the coronavirus and were forced to spend two weeks in quarantine.

The man told his ex-wife that it was for this reason that he and his daughter could not yet come to Australia. 

When Yevgeny and Varya did not return to Australia on November 19, Maria applied for the return of the child.

On November 27, 2020, the Australian Family Court granted her claim.

The man himself explains that already in Russia, the daughter told him about other unpleasant incidents that happened to her during communication with her mother.

The girl flatly refused to see her or talk on the phone, the father claims.

“She has unequivocally stated that she does not love her mother and refuses to communicate with her.

Varya last spoke to her in December 2020.

The mere reminder of her mother leads her into a state of nervousness and a panic attack, ”said Evgeny.

When the man learned that he could apply to a Russian court to determine the place of residence of the child, he finally decided not to return to Australia.

Eugene lives with his mother and daughter in St. Petersburg.

In Russia, a man works as an individual entrepreneur in the field of IT security. 

Varya entered kindergarten in January last year, and since September she went to school and the art section - the girl is fond of drawing. 

In parallel with this, Eugene and Maria are fighting for the right to custody of their daughter.

In May 2021, a man filed a lawsuit with the Vyborg City Court of the Leningrad Region of Russia to restrict the parental rights of his ex-wife solely to protect the interests of the child.

"Expelled from the homeland"

However, the girl's mother also applied to the Russian court demanding that her daughter be returned to Australia.

In the statement of claim, the woman's lawyers indicated that the Russian authorities were obliged to transfer the girl to her mother in Australia on the basis of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. 

For Russia, this international document entered into force in 2011.

Australia also participates in this treaty. 

Maria pointed out that her husband had limited communication with her daughter, and also hides their address of residence in Russia.

According to the mother, in accordance with the Convention, Yevgeny abducted her daughter and illegally keeps her in Russia.

In turn, Yevgeny's lawyers told the court that they suspect the mother of sexual abuse of the child, and also provided the conclusions of psychologists who examined the girl in Australia and Russia.

In February 2021, a psychologist who spoke with Varya established that she was emotionally attached to her father, trusted him and felt safe with him.

In a conversation with a doctor, the girl said that she wanted to live permanently with her dad.

“A child consistently includes his father in his family in the first position, the father is a significant adult for the girl.

The father's house is associated with a calm, comfortable environment, affection, reliability, emotional connection, ”says the doctor’s conclusion in a court decision.

At the same time, the psychologist determined that Varya had a broken emotional connection with her mother.

“A low level of mutual understanding, isolation, passivity, a symbolic expression of defense, fear, a feeling of a threat of the mother committing actions, the consequence of which may be separation from her significant parent, father,” the document says.

At the trial, the girl herself also stated that she wanted to live with her father and "categorically stated her unwillingness to return to her mother in Australia."

At the same time, she said that “she and her dad left Australia not to visit her grandmother, but from her mother, who screamed at her and scolded her for her faults,” follows from the court decision.

On September 3, 2021, the Dzerzhinsky Court of St. Petersburg ruled that Varya was being illegally detained in Russia, and ordered that the girl be immediately returned to her mother "to her country of usual residence - Australia."

“The Court considers that the minor has not reached the degree of maturity at which she would be able to adequately assess the current situation and build long-term forecasts.

The court agrees with the position of the plaintiff (mother. -

RT

) that the long separation from the mother contributed to the strengthening of the influence of the father on the child, ”the court ruling says.

At the same time, the decision emphasizes that the court only determined the place of residence of the child, and the question of who the girl will live with, the parents can decide in Australia. 

“In connection with the foregoing, the defendant's arguments about the presence of a partner in the mother of the child, as well as his suspicions about certain sexual acts committed by the mother in relation to the child, have no legal significance.

The return of a child to Australia ... should not be considered as the return of a child to the mother, ”the document says. 

However, Varya's father and grandmother are sure that in Australia the court will definitely take the mother's side, as it already happened in 2018.

Evgeny challenged the decision in the city court of St. Petersburg.

The next meeting will be held on February 21st.

“The girl is a citizen of Russia, it turns out that the Russian court is expelling her from her homeland,” says Yevgeny’s lawyer Gennady Alekseev.

- As for the Hague Convention, although we have entered into an agreement, the Russian Federation has not concluded a pair agreement specifically with Australia.

Such a document has not yet been signed.” 

Evgeny notes that after the daughter began to live with him permanently, her stomach pains, food allergies and “the fear that she could again return to the house of her mother and her partner” completely disappeared.

RT turned to lawyers from the St. Petersburg bureau of Sky Lawyers, who represent Maria's interests in a Russian court, but they refused to comment on the situation, citing the fact that the woman did not give them permission.

RT also wrote to Maria herself, but she did not respond.

Until the final court decision on the issue of the girl's return to Australia, the Vyborg court suspended the consideration of Yevgeny's claim about the restrictions on Maria's parental rights.

Meanwhile, according to the lawyer, on January 9, the Vyborg department of the Investigative Committee of the Leningrad Region opened a criminal case against Maria at the request of her ex-husband.

She is charged with “violent acts of a sexual nature committed against a person under the age of fourteen.”

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