Four severely neglected ‘Mowgli children’ have been found living inside a hellhole flat in a Moscow suburb.
The children lived in a flat full of rotting garbage in ‘socially dangerous conditions’, according to the authorities in Mytishchi, north of Moscow.
The three boys and one girl, all under nine, were said to have survived on mildewed bread collected from local rubbish bins, according to reports, and were exhausted and dirty’ when authorities found them.
None of the boys, who are believed to be aged six, four and two, had been registered at birth and had never seen a doctor or attended school.
Their dates of birth are unknown to the authorities, although their sister Sofia, eight, was registered when she was born.
After they were rescued, the children were taken away from their mother Inessa Kuznetsova, 32, a college graduate, and her grandmother Galina Kuznetsova, 66.
They were sent to orphanages but are now together in a foster family.
Russian media outlets such as gazette.ru and life.ru dubbed the children as ‘Mowglis’ due to the ‘feral conditions’ in which they were forced to live.
Moscow region children’s ombudsman Ksenia Mishonova said the children were ‘neglected’ with undeveloped speech.
She revealed: ‘The children had no beds.’
A police officer who rescued the children said: ‘The smell in the apartment was terrible. The children were peeing in pots that nobody cleaned.
‘From the food we found only bread with mould and a few spoiled apples.
‘The girl, aged eight, not only does not know the alphabet, but also cannot name colours. She seems to have frozen in her development at the age of a four year old.’
Despite this, the other children evidently look up to her as their main source of support and love.
‘All the children have speech impairments,’ said the police source.
‘They are not accustomed to hygienic procedures and are afraid of water.
‘They cannot use a fork or spoon, and the most delicious food they think is simple bread.’
Neighbours – who alerted the authorities – said that the grandmother regularly rummaged for food in rubbish bins.
Polina Obruchev said: ‘She was looking for food for the whole family.’
The mother who denies neglect faces a criminal investigation with a possible punishment of three years in jail.
She claimed she had ‘no time’ to register the children or take them to doctors or to kindergarten or school.
After a mass of media reports, she and the grandmother tidied the flat before showing it to journalists.
Head of Guardianship Olga Fedoseeva said: ‘The children are very neglected, according to psychologists, and are lagging behind in development.’
‘They have very poorly developed speech,’ she said. ‘The girl makes “floating sounds” and has “slurred speech”. She taught this to other children.’