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Russia's adoption ban exposes political rift (+video)

Russian President Putin is expected to back the parliament's adoption ban. But the move has exposed a rare split in the government, with some top officials speaking out against the ban.

The upper chamber of Russia's parliament on Wednesday unanimously voted in favor of a measure banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
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Russia's upper house of parliament today unanimously approved a ban on US citizens adopting Russian children, a highly charged move that appears to have prompted an unusual public split among government officials. 

The Dima Yakovlev bill, named after one of 19 Russian children to die due to abuse or negligence at the hands of adoptive US parents in the past two decades, now goes to the Kremlin for President Vladimir Putin’s consideration. In his only comments so far on the antiadoption measure, Mr. Putin said last week that it was "emotional but adequate," which is widely seen as an indication that he will sign it into law.

The legislation was originally framed as a tit-for-tat response to the Magnitsky Act, a US measure signed into law by President Obama earlier this month that aims to punish officials connected to the 2009 prison death of Russian whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. But the Russian legislation has been amended beyond recognition by hard-line lawmakers and now looks like a shotgun law to punish US citizens who become involved in almost any kind of non-business activity in Russia.

Many experts think that Putin may yet act as the "voice of reason" and strip the ban on adoption out of the bill before he signs it.


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