Lyubov and Mikhail (left) were separated from twin Pasha after their dad, Anton (bottom right) took him away (Picture: newsflash)

A mum has revealed her happiness at being reunited with her son after his dad took him out for a walk 12 years ago and never returned.

Pavel (Pasha) Kanafin was just three years old when he was taken away from the family home in Russia to neighbouring Belarus – separating him from his mum, Lyubov Kanafina, and twin brother, Mikhail, who has cerebral palsy.

But they were brought together again after his grandmother took him to Moscow to apply for a passport – triggering a missing person alert.

Lyubov posted on social media: ‘On the day my husband took Pasha away, I immediately turned to the police and made a statement about the abduction.

‘However, the case officers explained to me that they could not really do anything because the child was taken by his own father.

‘The police opened a search case and recommended that I divorce my husband and deprive him of parental rights through the court.

‘Only then, according to the law, could they initiate a criminal case and put Pasha on the federal wanted list. So I did.’

The documents were ready by 2013, leading the police to open a criminal case under article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (kidnapping).

Lyubov and Pasha’s twin brother, Mikhail Kanafin (Picture: @lkanafina/Newsflash)

Pavel (Pasha) Kanafin pictured with his father Anton (Picture: @pkanafin/Newsflash)

Describing the moment she learned her son had been found, Lyubov said: ‘For 12 years I did not know if my son was alive at all! His father completely cut off any connection between us!

‘We wrote to all authorities, searched everywhere, turned to broadcasts, but all to no avail. Pasha has been found! This is such happiness!’

Pasha told police officers he was living with his father in Belarusian capital, Minsk.

He said his dad had told him about his mum and brother – but sadly had no memory of them.

‘I immediately rushed there, to the department,’ Lyubov said.

Twins Pasha and Mikhael Kanafin were separated aged just three (Picture: @lkanafina/Newsflash)

‘We tried to communicate, but Pasha does not know me at all and does not remember me, he is even afraid.

‘I decided not to put pressure on or harm the child even more.’  

For the time being, Pasha will stay in a family support centre in Moscow, where he will be provided with psychological assistance by specialists.

“Now I visit him every day, communication is slowly getting better,’ his mum said.

It is unclear if the Russian or Belarusian authorities intend to bring Anton to justice.

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