Since documentary I’ve posted so far have been met with vastly positive feedback, I’d like to present this interesting piece by Andrzej Celinski and Hanna Polak about some of the most disturbing social ills in post-Soviet Russia.
Children of Leningradsky (Дети Ленинградского) is a documentary about homeless children who live in the Leningradsky train station in Moscow, Russia. As the documentary suggests, between 1 to 4 million Russian children have become homeless since the fall of the Soviet Union. Estimated 30,000 homeless children live in the streets and railway stations of Russia’s capital city – Moscow.
11 year old Christina lives in the Leningradsky Station because she was kicked out of home by her step mother. 12 year old Roma ran away from home because he was frequently beaten by his patents who liked to get drunk on Moonshine every day. He admitted to stabbing his father in the belly twice.
13 year old Misha was sent to an orphanage when he was 2 year old because his father would not accept him as his son (mother probably slept around). Father of 10 year old Andriey likewise doesn’t accept him as his son.
14 year old Yula was raped when she was 11 and left home because of it. Instead of taking it to court and getting justice for Yula, her mother took a bribe to keep quiet.
These children and many more wander around the Leningradsky Station begging for money. Some say they stick with begging and refuse to steal, but whether they really don’t is anyone’s guess. Unfortunately for younger children, sometimes older boys come and take what they’d earned.
The girls who live at the Leningradsky usually take to prostitution. As a result, they often end up pregnant and when the babies are born, they end up homeless just like their mothers. The boys likewise resort to prostitution when there’s no other way around. These are all children under the age of 14, making them easy scores for pedophiles. Bad news is – despite their young age, because of prostitution, many are infected with syphilis or AIDS.
Autumns and Winters are cold in Moscow. Serioza, Roma and Svieta spend them in sewers with the hot water pipes. When they have money, they buy glue and sniff it to get high. It’s very addictive so they need to keep buying it all the time. They also drink Vodka every day.
The children are frequently beaten by police. Many were beaten when they were in orphanages. One boy had glue he kept for sniffing poured all over his head by a policeman. The children also fight a lot among themselves.
Needless to say – these children have no future. They are mean to old bums, kicking them and stealing their clothes, yet they themselves stand to end up the same. They don’t believe in nothing, least of all in justice.
Genya from the Kursky Railway Station was killed. He was raped and strangled with a rope to death. The police investigated the children by beating them one after another. As if being homeless wasn’t bad enough, they’re also subjected to systematic police brutality.
The saddest part of the documentary is the story of Tanya. She was only 14…
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