Family Gets Playground and Bus Thanks to Putin

A Far East family not only got a new playground from President Vladimir Putin but will also receive a bus courtesy of the regional governor.

Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky promised the bus during a visit Monday to the home of the Kuzmenko family, which has 15 children, including 12 who are adopted.

The governor thanked the parents, Sergei and Yelena, for raising the 12 adopted children in addition to their three biological children in the village of Novoshakhtinsk.

"We understand that it is not easy to educate so many children, and we are ready to provide the necessary assistance," he said, according to Interfax. "I will give you a bus. This will happen after the May holidays."

He also said regional authorities would make sure that the family's home had proper insulation, that a new fence would be built around the property and that the children obtained proper medical care.

The mother, Yelena, asked Putin during his televised phone-in show Thursday about increasing state assistance for families with adopted children. Putin pledged to build a playground in the family's backyard when one of the daughters asked for one.

Word came back while the nearly five-hour Q&A session was still going on that the order for the playground had already been received by the local administration. By Saturday, the playground was built and ready for use.

The authorities have encouraged Russian parents to adopt children in recent years, and the campaign has gained steam after they banned adoptions by U.S. parents at the start of this year.