A leading Russian supporter of President Vladimir Putin on Thursday denied a report that he adopted a child forcibly taken from a Ukrainian orphanage.

Citing Russian and Ukrainian documents, the BBC reported that Russian lawmaker Sergei Mironov had adopted a child, now two years old, who was taken from an orphanage in the Ukrainian city of Kherson last year.

Russia has been accused of forcibly deporting thousands of Ukrainian children from schools, hospitals and orphanages in parts of the country controlled by its forces.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Putin and his children's commissioner for "the war crime of unlawful deportation... and transfer" of children from Ukraine to Russia.

According to the BBC, Mironov was "named on the adoption record of a two-year-old girl who was taken in 2022 by a woman he is now married to".


Mironov called the investigation a "hysteric fake unleashed by Ukrainian special services and their Western curators".

Without commenting on specific details of the BBC report, he said it was an "information attack" designed to "discredit" him.

Mironov, 70, leads a pro-Kremlin opposition party in Russia's parliament.

He previously spent a decade as head of the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament -- a key post marshalling the Kremlin's legislative agenda.

He is a staunch supporter of the military campaign against Ukraine, and has been awarded honours by Putin.

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In his response, Mironov said Russia would achieve "complete victory" against Ukraine.

The BBC reported the child he allegedly adopted, whose original name is Margarita, had her identity changed after being taken to Russia.

She was one of 48 children who went missing from the Kherson Region Children's Home after Russian forces seized the southern city.

Just one has since been returned, the office of Ukraine's Prosecutor General said Thursday.

It added that a criminal investigation was ongoing into the "illegal deportation of 48 children" from a Kherson orphanage and that three suspects had been identified.


They are an unnamed member of Russia's parliament, the Russian-installed head of the regional health ministry and the acting chief physician of the orphanage.

- Children missing -

Ukraine regained control of Kherson last November.

Kyiv says it has identified around 20,000 children that were taken to Russia after its forces launched a full-scale military campaign in February 2022.

Fewer than 400 have been returned.

The head of Ukraine's presidential office Andriy Yermak alluded to the case in a social media post Thursday.

"The adoption of a Ukrainian child by a Russian official slams the narrative of the 'temporary evacuation' of Ukrainian children for alleged 'safety' reasons," he said.

"The unmistakable intention to permanently remove Ukrainian children from their homeland leaves no room for doubt. It is a war crime," he added.

Moscow has not denied moving thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but claims it did so for their own protection.

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