This was reported by TASS.

"The court found Melnikov guilty and sentenced him to 19.5 years in prison," the court said.

It is noted that Melnikov was found guilty of 17 episodes of child trafficking.

In addition, embryologist Taras Ashitkov was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison in this case, fertility specialist Yuliana Ivanova was sentenced to 16.5 years in prison, and obstetrician-gynecologist Lilia Panaioti was sentenced to 16 years in a penal colony.

Surrogate mothers Lilia Valeeva and Tatyana Blinova were sentenced to 10.5 and 4 years in a penal colony.

In July 2021, the Moscow City Court transferred four defendants from the pre-trial detention center to house arrest in a case of child trafficking from surrogate mothers.

At the end of June 2020, it became known that a criminal case had been opened in Moscow on the fact of finding five babies aged six days to six months in an apartment in the northeast of the city.

On July 15, the Basmanny Court arrested four suspects in this case: Taras Ashitkov, Lilia Panaioti, Yuliana Ivanova and Valentina Chernyshova.

And on July 16, according to the court's decision, three more people were placed in custody: Roman Yemashev, Vladislav Melnikov and Kirill Anisimov. Another suspect, Tatyana Blinova, was placed under house arrest.