Rachael Neustadt with her son Meir at home in Hendon
An Orthodox Jewish mother has won a landmark hearing in the legal battle to bring her boys back to the UK after they were taken to Russia by her ex-husband last year.
Rachael Neustadt said she was “full of tears of relief” after the Moscow City Court ruled in her favour yesterday.
She has fought a nine-month battle to bring back Daniel and Jonathan, seven and five, after they were taken to Russia by Ilya Neustadt last December.
She believed they were taking a two-week holiday to visit their Russian-born father’s family.
Mr Neustadt, 37, since refused to comply with UK High Court orders and return the boys, who attended the Orthodox Jewish Nancy Reuben primary school in Hendon.
Speaking after the eight-hour Russian court case, Ms Neustadt, who lives in Hendon, said: “I still am full of tears of relief.
“I wish I could already hold my sons in my arms.
“I would have been devastated had this decision not been made in our favour.”
Mr Neustadt, a former London Metropolitan University lecturer, now has two weeks to launch an appeal.
“Although we have not reached the end of this nightmare, today’s decision was crucial,” added Ms Neustadt.
“I suspect that we have a difficult road ahead of us.”