Two women who were accidentally swapped at birth have finally discovered the truth about themselves 38 years later.
Gulsina Baimurzina and Alyona Baulina’s families had long suspected that something might not be quite right because they both looked too different from all their relatives.
Gulsina’s blonde hair and fair complexion is at odds with the dark colouring of the rest of her family. Similarly, Alyona has jet-black hair that stands out dramatically from her mainly-blond relatives.
Gulsina’s sister Grunas told local outlet 74.ru: "Gulsina was fair from birth, and I am dark.
"We saw that she was not like us, but did not attach any importance to it.
"But rumours were creeping that a fair one was growing here, and a dark one in another village," she added.
"‘My mother did not want to believe it, because she always considered Gulsina her daughter.’
On a Russian TV show, Alyona explained: “At the age of 12 I heard conversations for the first time between my parents that I was supposedly not their own.
“Then I found information about who could be my real relatives and went to visit the Baimurzins.”
Eventually, decades after the mistake was made, a DNA test revealed that the two women had been accidentally given to the wrong parents when they were babies.
Both women had been born at Kizil Hospital, in Kizilskoye, in 1983. Somehow the ID tags placed on them at birth became detached and staff managed to put them back on the wrong babies.
None of the the staff who worked at the maternity ward at the time are alive to answer any questions, so the mystery of exactly how such a mistake could have been made will remain unsolved.
But now the pair are demanding compensation for their lives being turned upside-down. Local media reports that people involved in similar cases have received up to 1.5 million roubles (about £15,000).
The women's lawyer Vyacheslav Kurilin told 1obl.run that no-one was being singled out for blame.
But he added: “At the same time, I believe that both daughters and both mothers should receive compensation for moral damage.”
Gulsina is works as a school caretaker and Alyona is a successful businesswoman. The women’s families are said to be trying to make the best of the bizarre situation and are doing their best to remain in contact.
Alla Vasilyeva, the manager of the Kizil Hospital has released an official apology to the two families.
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