Russian PM Visits Provincial Orphanage Amid Adoption Row

IVANOVO, January 11 (RIA Novosti) – Weeks after a controversial Russian ban on adoptions by US nationals prompted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to call on his compatriots to take more responsibility for orphans, he and his wife, Svetlana, visited an orphanage in the city of Ivanovo on Friday.

The Medvedevs visited the library, reading hall, “psychological release room,” dancing and computer classes and attended a fashion show spotlighting clothes and accessories made by the children.

When told that the children have six meals a day but can always make tea or snacks in special kitchens, Medvedev insistently quizzed them on their dining and cooking habits.

“Do you enjoy cooking? I understand girls cook, but what can you cook?” Medvedev asked a 12-year-old boy showing him around the facility, located some 200 km (124 mi) northeast of Moscow. The child said he can make salads and fry eggs, but making soups was too difficult for him. “Soups are a very complicated matter,” the prime minister agreed.

Medvedev, who is an avid amateur photographer, also gave a brief photo tutorial at the photography class. Last year, he presented digital cameras to members of the orphanage’s photo club.

“Don’t bother them with exposure and aperture, let them take more pictures. With today’s cameras, you don’t have to worry about all that,” he told the photography instructor.

Medvedev, who traditionally visits the Ivanovo orphanage during Russia’s 10-day winter holiday period, said it has improved dramatically since his previous visit, thanks to extensive renovation.

He promised to do his best to improve conditions in all such facilities across Russia.


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