London Jewish Mother Reunited With Kidnapped Sons

8-year-old and 6-year-old boys abducted by their father in Russia in December 2012.

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Moscow's Red Square.Credit: AFP

Two British boys who had been kidnapped by their father in Russia have been reunited with their Orthodox Jewish mother in London.

Rachael Neustadt announced that she was reunited with her sons Daniel Jacob, 8, and Jonathan, 6, after extensive court proceedings in the United Kingdom and in Russia. According to The Telegraph, the boys returned home at the end of June, and the details of their homecoming were publicly revealed on Monday.

The kidnapping occurred in December 2012, when the two boys went to visit their father, and Rachael’s former husband, Ilya Neustadt, in Russia for the Christmas holiday and he then refused to return them to their mother, who is their primary caretaker. Ilya Neustadt subsequently went into hiding, and the children were found living in Moscow with their paternal grandmother, Irina Mogilevsky.

The case made legal history when a Moscow court recognized a legal holding by the United Kingdom’s high court, reportedly the first time that a Russian court has complied with a UK court order. The ruling was made under the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention.

Rachael Neustadt, who was born in the United States and also has a 2-year-old son, said in a statement that “I am thrilled and relieved that the boys are back home,” according to The Jewish Chronicle. “We have so much to catch up on and so many hugs to make up for.”