A 13-year-old girl of Russian and German descent from Berlin who claimed she was kidnapped and raped by a group of migrants of Middle Eastern or North African descent told authorities that she fabricated her accusations. The girl’s story created heated tension between Germany and Russia, which viewed the situation as the product of Germany's lenient policies toward immigrants.
The girl disappeared in early January for a total of roughly 30 hours and returned to her family with injuries on her face, according to the Guardian . Her disappearance resulted in both Germany and Russia broadcasting propaganda about the case to counteract the other’s claims. Russia was especially heated in the exchange, accusing German authorities of covering up facts related to her disappearance.
“The news that she disappeared was kept secret for a very long time,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said of the girl’s case, who has been identified only as “Lisa F.” in media reports.
According to German officials, phone records show that she went to a 19-year-old man’s house to hide out for a while because she was doing poorly in school. It is suspected that she had sex with multiple men during that time, however, and a statutory rape case could be opened.
"The new developments clearly unmask the propaganda that has been associated with the case over the last few days,” Frank Henkel, Berlin’s top security official, said . Russian officials did not immediately respond to the news.
The girl’s disappearance was not, however, the only time that migrant-related tensions had flared between Germany and Russia this year. Later in January, a 20-year-old woman was pushed in front of Berlin’s U-Bahn commuter system and died . Russian officials categorized the death as a product of migrant death, though the killer was of Iranian descent and had lived in Germany his whole life.