Twins adopted by an American woman, 28, were found abandoned on a freezing Russian street with a note saying she no longer wanted them.
Sasha and Masha are just 15 months old and the 'cruelty' of the mother's rejection has led to a demand from the Kremlin's children's tsar Pavel Astakhov for a total ban on adoptions to American parents.
He branded the woman - who has not been identified and is now on the run - as an 'absolutely immoral person', and the case has been dubbed an 'outrage' by the Russian media.
It has alarming echoes of a 2010 episode in which Tennessee woman Torry Hansen sent her adopted seven-year-old Russian son Artem Saveliev on a plane back to Moscow alone with a message saying: 'I no longer wish to parent this child.'
Custodial staff in Russia's second city of St Petersburg discovered the twins - a boy and a girl - in sub-zero temperatures close to the front door of their institution. Read More