A woman in Russia has been sentenced to six years in jail after it was revealed that she had been starving her foster son for years in order to claim benefits from the state.
Becoming a foster parent comes with its own set of responsibilities and obligations to the child you take under your wing. You essentially vow to take the child under your roof and care for them as if they are one of your own, albeit, with the help of the government. However, there have been way too many reported cases of people misusing the system and taking on more kids than they can manage and providing them with the bare minimum while keeping the government payouts for themselves. Speaking of such foster parents, Lyubov Korotkova from Russia could easily take the title of the evilest of them all.
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According to Daily Mail, Korotkova forcibly starved an orphan boy under her care for eight long years in order to claim sickness and disablement handouts from the state on his behalf. The boy withered away to mere skin and bones under his wicked guardian's care, who used the money she wrongfully collected from authorities to splurge on luxuries for herself. In addition to starving the child, Korotkva is also said to have drugged him repeatedly and fooling doctors into believing he was suffering from a rare and inexplicable disease.  
Thankfully, the child's plight has come to an end as Korotkova has been sentenced to six years in jail after being convicted of "special cruelty, humiliation, and torture." The boy, named Valery Kondourov, was three-years-old when he was taken in by the woman. Korotkova, who is now in her 40s, has claimed around £50,000 in state handouts over the last seven years when she kept the now 11-year-old boy in a "grave" medical condition. Fortunately, the child was removed from her care as soon as her cruelty was exposed and the woman now has to pay all the money back in full, in addition to over £8,000 in "moral damages" to Valery.
Ironically, before her despicable side came to light, Korotkova was hailed as a local hero in her city Magadan for willingly taking on the role of a loving caretaker for an exceptionally ill child. It must've come as quite the surprise to the locals when it was revealed that she had, in fact, forcibly reduced the young boy's weight by starving him and regularly filling him with drugs to feign serious illness. Speaking about the malnourished child's condition, Svetlana Petrenko, of the Russian Federal Investigative Committee said, "The malnutrition was so severe that the 11-year-old boy had the weight of a four-year-old child."
Medics claim the child's life had been in acute danger under Korotkova's care. "For eight years she deliberately was not feeding her fostered child in order to register him as disabled and receive benefits and sickness payments. During all these years the woman was seeing many different doctors with her child, asking them to check him for multiple diseases, including cancer. As a result, the doctors - who were cheated - could not pinpoint the right diagnosis," Petrenko said. It wasn't until a senior doctor grew suspicious about the whole scenario and eventually examined the boy that the woman was unmasked as a cheat.
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Although he is 11-years-old now, at the time of being rescued Valery was only 3 feet 5 inches tall, which is more in line with the growth of a 5-year-old. Apart from his stunted growth and the appalling damage inflicted by his foster mother, medics found the boy to be entirely healthy, as opposed to what Korotkova had been claiming for years. Apparently, even Korotkova's husband Andrei was unaware of her wicked schemes, despite helping her care for the child. The court was reportedly told that the woman deliberately hatched the criminal plan to claim benefits.
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Korotkova has been accused of starving the boy and making "him take medical drugs to build up the clinical manifestation of a stomach disease." As a part of her diabolical plan, the woman even homeschooled the child so that he would never be seen by teachers. In the case against the woman, the investigative committee was reportedly told, "Having cheated the doctors, she managed to register her child as handicapped... and started receiving financial assistance, compensation and other allowances." Such was Korotkova's idol status in the society that local officials initially found it hard to believe the accusations stacked against her.
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In fact, they even staged a public campaign to have the boy returned to the "heroic" woman. Ultimately, Kremlin children's ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova stepped in to stop this from happening. Despite the array of allegations against her, Korotkova denied her guilt, but was finally convicted of the "intentional infliction of a grave injury, to a minor (leaving him) in a helpless state."Her actions were said to have been conducted with "with special cruelty" and amounted to "torture." The woman, who reportedly frittered the cash on luxuries, was seen sobbing in an iron cage in a Russian court before she was led away to start her sentence.
Fortunately, little Valery is now in good hands as he is being cared for by Svetlana Suleimanova, a psychologist who has raised eight foster children in addition to her five offsprings. Speaking to The Siberian Times at the time that the boy was rescued, Svetlana said, "Doctors invited me to inspect the boy. They said they did not find any illnesses but registered strange behavior. The boy quickly ate everything as soon as his mother left the room, but when she was present, he was naughty and said that he was not hungry. He confessed to me later that his mother forced him to say he did not have any appetite. She punished him if he did not obey.  She was also giving him some pills and he was always vomiting afterward."
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