Two boys abducted by their Russian father are to be returned to their mother in London, a Moscow court has ruled.
Rachael Neustadt, who lives in Hendon, broke down when the judge decreed that she should be reunited with five-year old Jonathan and seven-year old Daniel, who she has not seen since Christmas Day last year.
Their father Ilya, who had been a lecturer at London Metropolitan University, took them on holiday in 2012, but never returned them.
“My heart hasn’t stopped racing since” said American-born Neustadt, who was ecstatic at hearing the verdict but who said her boys had been turned against her.
“It’s very confusing for them,” she said. “They have been told so much that is totally wrong. For example, that your mother no longer loves you. How do you say that and not damage a child?”
Maternal grandmother Merry Rapp has been looking after the boys’ younger brother Meir, aged 2, while Rachael has been in Russia fighting the legal battle.
It was revealed last week that the case was only won because Russia ratified an international convention on child abduction this summer.
“It was a positive verdict,” said Neustadt at the end of last week’s trial. “I get to get my children back. I’m so happy!”
However, the case be yet be in for a late twist, with the father saying he may still appeal the Moscow city court ruling.
“We will finally reach some amicable solution,” he said.