A Moscow private clinic says it carries out female genital cutting “for medical reasons” and only on adult women.
In a statement on its website, Best Klinik denied “unreliable” reports about its “clitoridectomy service”.
Earlier the Russian news site Meduza claimed that the clinic had also advertised the procedure for girls.
The report triggered heated debate on Russian social media. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crime in the UK; the UN says it violates human rights.
FGM – defined as partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons – can cause severe bleeding and other serious complications, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) says. FGM has no health benefits, the WHO adds.
In its statement, Best Klinik insisted it was providing a “clitoridectomy” service only for women aged 18 or older “in response to requests from patients who have a corresponding referral from a doctor”.
The procedures are done at a clinic near Baumanskaya metro, in northern Moscow. Best Klinik also has two other clinics in the Russian capital.
Clitoridectomy – sometimes called “female circumcision” – can be carried out for medical reasons, but such cases are rare.