A mother faces the loss of her 10-year-old son after locking him in their home alone with only dry rice to eat and disappearing with their dog for eight days.
Little Mikhail was taken to hospital and mother Natalya Azarenkova was detained by the Russian police after calling for help.
He warned neighbors when he shouted from his flat in an apartment building in Peredelkino, Moscow.
His door was locked from the outside and he begged them not to call emergency services because he feared he would be sent to an orphanage and never see his mother again.
Starving Mikhail shared how she left him rice – but no water to cook it – after saying she was going to walk their dog.
During her absence, the 31-year-old mother appears to have taken care of the Dzaina family’s pet while leaving the boy at home alone without food or drink.
Power and water had been cut off in the cockroach-infested apartment – so he couldn’t cook the rice.
The neighbors lowered him food and juice from a balcony in the apartment above, but when his mother didn’t return the next day, they called emergency services for fear of the boy’s life.
He was rescued five days after she disappeared and she did not return until eight days after she left him.
“I can’t imagine how the child survived there for five days,” said neighbor Dmitry, who was present when officers opened the door by force.
“There are a lot of cockroaches, flies everywhere, a terrible smell.”
Despite the horror, the boy was devoted to his mother, neighbors said, adding that the boy’s father had died two years ago.
Police detained the mother while she was walking her dog.
She admitted she locked him in the flat, claiming she left enough rice for two days.
She said she had been with friends, but in a police interrogation video, she couldn’t explain why she had left the boy for so long.
The woman said, “I need my son, I want to make everything.”
Azarenkova could now be jailed and deprived of the right to raise the child, say reports citing law enforcement.
The boy is undergoing check-ups in the hospital.