For several months of her short life, two-year-old Knesnia Dubrovina was neglected and abused by her guardians. In June 2019, the toddler was at home in Tolyatti, Russia with her stepfather, Anton Proskurin, when she was cruelly beaten by him. After the beating, the toddler was left with fatal haemorrhaging. She passed away before her parents called emergency services. The man has been charged with the murder of the baby. Police are investigating her mother, Zinaida Proskurina, who reportedly allowed the child to be abused for months before her death.

On the day of the incident, Proskurina went to work and left her daughter with her husband. In her absence, the child accidentally urinated on the floor instead of the potty. This infuriated the stepfather so much that he started savagely beating the child.

By the time the mother returned home, the child's head had horribly swelled up like a balloon. The 25-year-old woman did not pay attention to her daughter's injuries until she stopped breathing. Around 24 hours after Dubrovina stopped breathing, an ambulance was called to her home. The child was declared dead and her body was sent for a post mortem examination.

The post mortem revealed that the child had been hit 20 times on the head and around 40 times all over her body. This caused her to haemorrhage leading to her death. Prosecutor Aleksandr Kanaev revealed that the abuse by the 40-year-old man and neglect by the mother was not an isolated incident.

Proskurina was reportedly aware of the frequent beatings the child received. Instead of intervening, she took pictures of the injuries and showed them to her friends. Her friends claim she jokingly said the pictures were "for the family's album." Dubrovina's bruises were often covered by her mother using makeup.

Before the child's death in 2019, Proskurin reportedly broke the child's arm by pulling on it as a punishment for falling over. In court, a friend of the family named Roman recalled witnessing the man kicking the child in the belly. When the child fell on the floor crying, her mother laughed at her. The Sun reported that as the friend objected to the treatment, the mother said that the child needed to be punished that way for being naughty.

The stepfather who works as a security guard has been accused of the murder of a minor committed with particular cruelty. If found guilty, he may be sentenced to life in prison. Proskurina is under investigation for failing to fulfil parental duties.

Child abuse
two-year-old beaten to death by her step-father. (representational image) iStock