Putin was not the only target of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant. The name of Maria Lvova-Belova also appears. But who is this woman?
Lvova-Belova is an Ombudsman for Children’s Rights in the President’s office. It is a position she has held since October 2021, four months before the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
And it is in Ukraine, in the Russian-occupied territories in particular, that she is accused of carrying out war crimes: deporting Ukrainian children to Russia, separating them from their families.
With the cities where they lived occupied by the Russians, families were forced to send their children to summer camps on the Black Sea. They faced this fate, promoted with an image of normality, as a way to protect children. But they didn’t know they would be without them.
At 38 years old, Lvova-Belova promotes herself on social media as a benefactress, combined with extreme care in her clothes and blonde hair, which are always immaculate.
She is married to an Orthodox priest. She has five biological children and five adopted. One of them is Filip, a 15-year-old teenager, whom she adopted in the spring of 2022, coming from Mariupol, one of the most massacred cities in Russia. On television, in tears, he said that he was picked up from the streets, where he ended up by the will of his legal guardians, after his mother died of cancer.
“She is the most beautiful person I have met in my life. I’ve never met anyone who loved me as much as she did, ”described the boy in an interview, although it is not known whether or not he was forced to say so.
To this must be added at least 13 other children, of whom she is the legal guardian, through the multiple associations she has created using public state funds.
In February, CNN reported that Lvova-Belova continued to visit Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, accompanying children to Russia, where they are adopted by Russian families.
On its social networks, the provider often shares photos and videos praising the process of integrating these children into new families.
“It is wonderful that the international community has appreciated this work to help our country’s children. That we don’t leave them in war zones, that we take them out, that we create good conditions for them, that we surround them with loving and caring people,” he reacted to the Russian agency Ria Novosti.
Lvova-Belova was a senator from the Penza region, where she was born. For several years she gave guitar lessons in her hometown.