A grieving father in Russia sparked a national scandal when he realised his ‘dead newborn twins’ had been replaced by dolls – only for his wife to confess that she never actually gave birth.
A police investigation had opened after Daud Daudov, 33, claimed maternity hospital medics had swapped the children for fake babies before their funeral.
He alleged that his sons could be ‘alive’ and victims of a baby-selling or adoption racket. Shocking footage of him unwrapping the shrouds to reveal dolls triggered an outcry in Russia.
But on Thursday a senior regional official said the man’s wife Laura had admitted she did not give birth, and had wrapped dolls in a shroud for the funeral herself.
The mother claims to have done so because her husband had been so happy to hear she was pregnant, and she couldn’t stop lying.
Stavropol governor Vladimir Vladimirov explained: ‘The woman went through a medical examination which established that she did not give birth.
‘Later the woman in writing confirmed that the whole story was made up.
‘What can I say? I am speechless.
‘Now this is down to the family and the law enforcement.
‘I am hoping that people who have wrongly accused our doctors will apologise.’
The would-be mother admitted in a statement admitted that she had faked her pregnancy, along with the birth and death of her newborns, because her husband desperately wanted to have children.
Her initial positive pregnancy test was not confirmed, Mrs Daudov said.
She explained: ‘I saw how happy my husband was when I told him that I was pregnant.
‘I didn’t want to upset him and therefore decided to lie to him and to our relatives by faking the pregnancy.
‘I didn’t have a clear plan. Sometimes I felt as if my tummy was growing, I felt as if I was pregnant.
‘In January I went to have a look at babies’ cots. It’s hard to explain, from one hand I knew I wasn’t pregnant, but I couldn’t stop pretending.’
She rented a flat near the maternity hospital, bought two dolls and told her family that the babies had died shortly after their birth.
Mrs Daudov continued: ‘On that same day my husband told me that we had to bury the babies in Dagestan, at his family’s graveyard.
‘Then (at the burial) my husband unmasked my lies by finding the dolls instead of the babies.
‘I misled all my relatives and my husband. I am terribly sorry.’
Mr Daudov had claimed in a video statement released by the Interior Ministry that his sons had been born healthy on 3 February at Stavropol perinatal centre in southern Russia.
His wife was initially in intensive care following the delivery, he said.
She had recovered and cared for the ‘healthy’ babies on 7 and 8 February in her ward at the hospital.
But at 3am on 9 February she was told they had died from ‘cerebral haemorrhage, aneurysm’, he said, adding that Islam prohibits dissection so the children would be buried as they were found.
In the video, he said men had told his wife that they would pray for the boys, wash them and cover them with grave-clothes.
He claimed that when she was released from hospital she was given the two dead babies and put in a taxi to go home.
Mr Daudov said he mourned but did not unwrap the shrouds until the burial in the family’s native region of Dagestan, close to another family grave.
‘My cousin told me: “Bro, they are still people… we need to do this in a human way… We need to see their faces before we bury them”, he explained.
‘I opened the face of the first baby and saw there were no eyes.
‘What was this? I began to open the face of the second one.
‘The same. This was a doll…a doll.’
He told officers: ‘Everyone was shocked…they were both just dolls.
‘In disposable nappies, like real kids…
‘After this we called the police.’
In his first response, governor Vladimirov had said the case ‘makes your heart shrink’ and vowed to personally supervise the investigation.
It then emerged there had been no record of Mrs Daudov as a patient or of the deaths of newborn twins.
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