Yaga intends to eat the boy. She is often the mother of three daughters in Russian folklore, who are present in most variants of this tale. The first daughter is tasked with putting the boy in the oven, and asks him to sit on the bread spatula. He lies down but sticks his limbs out so that he won't fit into the oven. The daughter insists that he sit the right way; he plays dumb and asks her to show him how. When she does so, he shoves her in the oven and roasts her instead.
And if we think the Grimms' "Hansel and Gretel" are violent for shoving the witch in the oven, this boy takes it a step further; he serves the meat of the daughter to Baba Yaga, who comments on how sweet his meat is, and does the same thing with the other daughters, ending by defeating Yaga herself.
The most interesting thing about this Russian version is its similarity to a local custom of symbolically "baking" children. Andreas Johns says, "It consisted of putting an infant on a bread spatula and into a warm oven, and in some cases putting the child in and taking it out a number of times, with an accompanying dialogue urging the performer of the ritual to bake away the child's illness." A similar ritual in Romania involves holding a child over boiling water to cure it of "the evil eye".
Although it seems shocking, it was not meant to be an abusive thing, but viewed as positive and nurturing, as fire was seen to have healing properties. Still, I can't help but wonder how hot the oven was and how long they held the kid in there...but it seems reasonable to think that the tale could have reflected a child's anxieties concerned with this ritual.
John Augustus Atkinson-Russian oven drawing-1803
Johns also reminds us of how essential an oven was to a family in the middle of cold Russian winters, as their primary source of heat. We are reminded of the paradox of fire, which is both necessary for survival, and also a dangerous instrument of injury and sometimes death. From Wikipedia: "As well as warming and cooking, the Russian oven can be used for washing. A grown man can easily fit inside, and during World War II some people escaped the Nazis by hiding in ovens. In Ancient Russia the oven was used to treat winter diseases by warming the sick person's body inside it."
So maybe this ritual wasn't as close to child abuse as it appears to us; it seems like ovens could be manipulated to become a sort of sauna. Still, I would imagine there would be some anxiety about keeping young children from climbing in...
Information from Baba Yaga: The Ambiguous Mother and Witch of the Russian Folktale by Andreas Johns