Sunday, May 26, 2024

Russian Influencer Jailed for 8 Years After Starving Infant Son to Death

HomeTop NewsRussian Influencer Jailed for 8 Years After Starving Infant Son to Death

Moscow, Russia – A Russian influencer who forced his newborn son to undergo a bizarre starvation diet in the misguided belief it would give the infant superhuman abilities has been sentenced to 8 years in prison after the baby tragically died of malnutrition.

Maxim Lyutyi, 37, was found guilty of intentionally inflicting serious bodily harm leading to the death of his 1-month-old son Kosmos in March 2023. Prosecutors said Lyutyi refused to allow the baby to be born in a hospital and instead had his wife Oksana Mironova give birth at home.

From the moment Kosmos entered the world, Lyutyi put the newborn on an extremely restrictive vegan “prana” diet, feeding him only small portions of berries and other foods Lyutyi believed would enhance the body’s spiritual energy. The influencer’s ultimate aim was for Kosmos to subsist on sunlight alone.

“Maxim forced Oksana not to feed the baby, as he believed the sun was feeding the baby,” said Olesya Nikolayeva, Mironova’s cousin. “Oksana was secretly trying to breastfeed, but she was very afraid of Maxim.”

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Lyutyi, who ran a blog promoting his unconventional wellness beliefs, also made little Kosmos undergo regular cold water baths, convinced it would toughen up the frail infant. All the while, the baby was being deprived of proper nutrition and medical care.

“How is it possible to feed a baby with sunlight? A baby needs his mother’s milk,” Nikolayeva told reporters, expressing outrage over Lyutyi’s unorthodox child-rearing practices.

By March 8th, 2023, just one month after his birth, Kosmos had deteriorated to the point he weighed only 3.5 pounds. It was then that Lyutyi finally sought medical help, rushing his severely malnourished son to the hospital. Tragically, it was too late – doctors pronounced the infant deceased shortly after arrival from a combination of starvation, dehydration, and pneumonia.

Both Lyutyi and Mironova were immediately arrested. During the legal proceedings, one relative testified that Lyutyi’s ultimate aim was to advertise his radical sun-based diet as a way for others to consume no food at all.

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The case has drawn extensive media coverage in Russia and abroad, shining a light on the dangerous consequences of pseudoscientific health fads and inadequate childhood nutrition. It also raised questions about the level of coercion Mironova may have faced from her husband in adhering to his irrational edicts regarding their son’s care.

In court, Lyutyi expressed regret over his son’s death, saying he had abandoned his previous convictions about veganism and raising a “sun child.” He had hoped for an early release after initially pleading not guilty, but ended up reversing course last week and admitted full culpability.

The judge showed little leniency, handing down an 8-year sentence to be served in a maximum security penitentiary. Prosecutors had pushed for a 15-year term, citing the particularly helpless nature of the infant victim.

Mironova’s fate remains unclear, with some reports indicating charges may still be pending against the mother. Her own relatives say she lived in subjugation to Lyutyi’s radical belief system and quasi-cultish control over her actions.

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“Oksana lived there like a guinea pig,” her mother stated. “Each time she became colder to me…she was his slave.”

The tragic case serves as a sobering example of how far fringe ideologies can go when taken to dangerous extremes, especially when the victims are infants completely dependent on their parents. Health authorities globally have spoken out, urging parents to follow evidence-based nutrition guidance from qualified medical professionals, not unsubstantiated claims from internet influencers.

As the internet continues giving platforms to anyone to broadcast niche ideas, the death of baby Kosmos shows the potential peril of individuals gaining audiences for fundamentally unsound theories that can lead the most vulnerable into harm’s way. Proper vetting, discretion, and perhaps regulation of the expansive influencer industry may be required to prevent future senseless tragedies.



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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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