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The Boston Globe



Soviet collapse was a setback for kids

IN HER column “Putin is brilliantly wicked” (Op-ed, Jan. 7), Juliette Kayyem missed one important point: the increasingly prosperous Russia may be capable of taking care of its own children. By forbidding Americans to adopt Russian children, Vladimir Putin not only continued a political tit-for-tat with the United States, but he also sent a message to his compatriots: let’s take care of our own.

Paradoxically, both the Magnitsky Act — legislation that forbids Russia’s violators of human rights to travel to the US — and the plight of the homeless Russian children stem from the same disastrous event: the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Prior to that event, Russia had a statewide safety net for children, and no traveling oligarchs buying properties in the United States.

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