U.S. Ambassador Calls for End to 'Exploitations of Human Tragedy'

Feb. 22 2013 — 00:00

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has called for an end to "sensational exploitations of tragedy" in a blog post on Friday to address "a number of issues surrounding the tragic death" of 3-year-old Max Shatto, a Russian child adopted by a Texas woman.

McFaul's statement comes as a direct response to various Russian media reports accusing the U.S. of being lax in its investigation into the young boy's death.

Children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov expressed outrage about the boy's death on Twitter on Monday, initially accusing the boy's adoptive mother, Lauren Shatto, of killing the boy and complaining that the U.S. State Department "had no reaction" to the incident.

McFaul said Friday, however, that U.S. diplomats have been working closely with Russian diplomats behind the scenes. In addition, "representatives from the Russian Consulate and Embassy visited the Shatto family," McFaul wrote.

Russian diplomats also called the State Department twice in the past week to "express appreciation for the excellent cooperation," he said.

McFaul also noted that a thorough investigation into the boy's death is still under way, and that investigators are "abiding by the … idea that one is innocent until proven guilty."

Max Shatto, whose birth name is Maxim Kuzmin, was adopted from a Russian orphanage and died in Odessa, Texas in January.

News of the boy's death triggered furor from many Russian officials, even prompting the Investigative Committee to open a criminal case into the matter.

Related articles:

Photos From Moscow Gallery Shuttered Over Child Porn Allegations
The Moscow exhibition of controversial American photographer Jock Sturges has been closed following protests from conservative activists.
Moscow TV Round-Up: Station for Two, Ivan Vasilievich Changes Professions and More
While this rainy September can’t end soon enough for those who like autumn strolls and leaf-peeping in the Big Onion’s parks, Moscow TV ...
Moscow TV Round-Up: Station for Two, Ivan Vasilievich Changes Professions and More
While this rainy September can’t end soon enough for those ...
Serebrennikov's ‘The Student’ Premieres to Critical Acclaim
Kirill Serebrennikov was the first to stage Marius von Mayenburg’s darkly brilliant play “Martyr” outside of Germany. The ...