Arrest warrant issued for unidentified woman, 28, who was 'on the run'
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.
A note found with the twins said she had 'given them up', it was reported.
'She decided to abandon the twins. Moreover, she opted not to do this in person,' Ms Agapitova said.
The twins were now being cared for at a children's hospital while a decision is made on their fate.
Officials said they were adopted six months ago in the Russian city of Tula by the woman who posed as a single mother and made a 'positive impression'.
A search warrant has been issued and she is wanted by Russian police. She was believed to be abroad, with one report saying she did not ask anyone to give the children back and claiming she has suffered a mental breakdown as a result of the scandal.
The woman reportedly lied when she adopted the children by failing to admit her US citizenship - and the fact that she was married to an American, who should have been vetted for his suitability as an adopted father, said officials.
When the authorities discovered this they demanded the adoptive mother give details of the man, and provide his consent to caring for the children.
'Soon after this, the children were found abandoned in an act of the most awful cruelty,' said a source.