$US 8 MLN for abducted children?

According to Russian newspaper reports, a ransom has been demanded by the kidnappers of two children, abducted last month in Russia's second largest city of Saint Petersburg.

The “Argumenty i Fakty” newspaper claims the kidnappers of six-year-old Dmitry Borodulin and his 11-year-old sister Aleksandra, who were taken on May 15, want $US 8 MLN. The sum is approximately the value of their family business, according to the reports.

This information, however, has not yet been confirmed by officials in St. Petersburg.

The newspaper suggests the abduction was thoroughly planned. Unnamed sources have told the paper the kidnappers could be part of the family's closest circle, since they knew the Borodulin's timetable and where to find the kids and their father. Witnesses say the children were driven away in a car after a fight between their father and the kidnappers.