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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 17 December, 2014

Russian police find 250 foetuses dumped in mountain woods

The foetuses – stored in four vats – were probably aborted later than is legally allowed under Russian law.

A file photo of woods in the Ural mountains, where the 250 abandoned embryos were found at the weekend.
A file photo of woods in the Ural mountains, where the 250 abandoned embryos were found at the weekend.
Image: alexeya via Flickr.com

ALMOST 250 FOETUSES have been found stored in four huge vats in woods in Russia’s Urals after apparently being illegally dumped by local hospitals that carried out abortions, police said today.

Four huge 50-litre vats of formaldehyde, with dozens of foetuses stashed inside, were found by local residents while taking a Sunday stroll through woods 45 miles north of Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Sverdlovsk region.

Arriving yesterday morning, police found 248 foetuses aged 12-16 weeks with tags containing surnames and numbers, said a statement by the regional police force.

“I think that soon we will find out who has dropped the embryos and all the guilty will be punished,” said the deputy head of the Sverdlovsk government Vladimir Vlasov.

A spokesperson of the local police said that the foetuses appear to have been illegally dumped after abortions by local hospitals which treated them as “biological waste”.

The numbers on the tags — such as 40, 24, 27 and 14 — probably refer to the numbers of hospitals the foetuses originated from. In Russia, hospitals and schools are usually known by a number rather than a name.

Many details show “the criminal character of what was found”, said Elena Mizulina, the president of the family, women and children committee in the State Duma.

“About 5-6 million illegal abortions are done every year in Russia. According to the size of the foetus, the abortions were done when it is already illegal,” she told the Izvestia daily. ”Probably, the medical workers wanted to get rid of the evidence.”

Russian law allows abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

- © AFP, 2012

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