Russia: Mother reunited with son missing for 12 years after going for a walk

(Image: Newsflash)

Lyubov and Mikhail (left) were separated from twin Pasha after their father Anton (below right) took him away (Image: Newsflash)

A mother has revealed her joy at being reunited with her son after his father took him for a walk 12 years ago and never returned.

Pavel (Pasha) Kanafin was just three years old when he was taken from the family home in Russia to neighboring Belarus – separating him from his mother Lyubov Kanafina and twin brother Mikhail, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

But they were reunited after his grandmother took him to Moscow to apply for a passport – triggering a missing persons alert.

Lyubov posted on social media: “The day my husband took Pasha away, I immediately contacted the police and made a statement about the kidnapping.

“However, the caseworkers explained to me that there was really nothing they could do because the child was kidnapped by his own father.

“The police opened a search case and recommended that I divorce my husband and deprive him of parental rights in court.

“Only then, according to the law, could they initiate criminal proceedings and put Pasha on the federal wanted list.” So I did.’

The documents were ready in 2013, prompting the police to open a criminal case under Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (kidnapping).

Mikhail Kanafin, 15, whose twin brother Pavel Kanafin was kidnapped by their father when they were three, in Moscow, Russia, was pictured with his mother Lyubov Kanafina. (@lkanafina/Newsflash)

Lyubov and Pasha’s twin brother Mikhail Kanafin (Photo: @lkanafina/Newsflash)

Pavel Kanafin, 15, who was kidnapped by his father when he was three years old in Moscow, Russia, is pictured with his father Anton Kanafin. (@pkanafin/Newsflash)

Pavel (Pasha) Kanafin pictured with his father Anton (Photo: @pkanafin/Newsflash)

Lyubov described the moment when she found out that her son had been found: “For twelve years I didn’t know if my son was even alive! His father completely severed all ties between us!

“We wrote to all the authorities, searched everywhere, contacted the radio, but all without success. Pasha has been found! That’s such luck!’

Pasha told police officers that he lives with his father in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

He said his father told him about his mother and brother – but sadly no memory of them.

“I immediately rushed there, to the department,” said Lyubov.

Pavel Kanafin, 15, who was kidnapped by his father when he was three years old in Moscow, Russia, was pictured with his twin brother, Mikhael Kanafin. (@lkanafina/Newsflash)

Twins Pasha and Mikhael Kanafin were separated when they were just three years old (Image: @lkanafina/Newsflash)

“We tried to communicate, but Pasha does not know me at all and does not remember me, he is even afraid.

“I have decided not to put any more pressure on the child or harm him.”

For the time being, Pasha will stay in a family support center in Moscow, where he will receive psychological care from specialists.

“Now I visit him every day, communication is slowly getting better,” said his mother.

It is unclear whether the Russian or Belarusian authorities intend to bring Anton to justice. Russia: Mother reunited with son missing for 12 years after going for a walk

Justin Scacco

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