A mum stripped her three kids naked and forced them into the snow in minus 15C cold because she was ashamed of "living in sin" after starting a relationship with a married millionaire, police say.
The woman – named as Natalia Vazina, 33 – was also fully undressed in the extreme frost in a forest near Moscow, Russia.
All four were saved after a man walking his dog late in the evening saw the family and raised the alarm.
The children Grigory, ten, Lazar, two, and Marfa, 11 months suffered serious frostbite and hypothermia and would have died of exposure if they were not promptly rescued.
The woman is also being treated in hospital suffering frostbite to her back, legs and feet.
Her younger son Lazar was in a medical coma, say reports.
A criminal case has been launched against her for attempted murder, say reports.
Vazina is the lover of prominent jeweller Ilya Klyuev, 43, who is married with four children, say reports citing law enforcement.
She worked for his jewellery house Cluev (CORRECT) and they began an affair.
He is the father of her two youngest children.
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The business mogul was reported to be "shocked" over the distressing incident.
Vladimir Putin’s children’s ombudswoman Anna Kuznetsova went to see the frostbitten family in hospital and was shown in footage from REN TV.
She posted: "I managed to talk to the elder (boy).
"He suffered the most because he walked barefoot in the snow. His feet have to be treated seriously, and the forecasts (from doctors) are cautious.
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"The kids are wonderful, the older one is open, caring. He told me how he comforted his little sister in his arms because she doesn't like to sleep in a crib."
She went on: "The doctors told how the children are close to each other, but I saw it right away."
Reports said that Klyuev had not divorced his wife but paid for a luxury apartment for Vazina and her three children in New Moscow suburb, close to where the family were found in the snow.
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She had become "religious" and was unhappy about "living in sin", which led to a breakdown in her relations with her lover, say reports.
Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that the jeweller has offered to take custody of the children, including her son Grigory by her previous marriage.
But he told 360TV when asked if the two younger children were his: "You know, these questions are awkward to answer."
About media reports linking him to Vazina, from Cheboksary, he said: "You never know what they write there, I cannot say.
"This is some kind of misinformation. I know this woman, she worked for us a long time ago."
But he said he was "shocked" and had been to the hospital, adding: "Of course we won’t leave the children."
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