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30 Mar, 2008 03:06

Russian ‘miracle babies’ get new home

A Russian family with quintuplets have had their first look at an apartment in the centre of Moscow, given to them for free by local authorities. The five girls were born in November but due to complications the delivery took place in a British clinic.

For Varvara it's a juggling act of nappies, bottles and baby food.

“Of course it’s hard for them – they have to share everything between the five! She wants to go in her mother’s lap but there’s already someone there!” Varvara says.

29-year-old music teacher Varvara had been taking a fertility drug before she found herself expecting five.

Russian doctors warned that not all babies would survive unless some were aborted. But for the religious couple it was against their faith. That's why they chose to seek treatment at a hospital in Britain specialising in multiple births and found funding from anonymous Russian benefactors.

Last November the 5 girls – Liza, Sasha, Tanya, Nadya and Varya – were delivered by caesarian section 14 weeks prematurely and spent months in intensive care.

In Moscow, relatives have been eagerly awaiting their arrival with piles of diapers, baby clothes and booties.

But the happy family were in for another surprise. Moscow's deputy mayor handed over the keys to a four-roomed city apartment, a gift from a government thankful for the demographic boost.