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Ukraine returns 16-year-ol teenager deported from Lysychansk to Russia

19 June, 2024 Wednesday
15:39

On June 18, the 16-year-old brother of a Ukrainian serviceman who had been taken by Russian forces from the temporarily occupied Luhansk region to Russia was returned to the territory controlled by Ukraine

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This information comes from the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories and the Ukrainian Child Rights Network.

Illia, a soldier in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, reached out to the Ministry of Reintegration upon learning that his younger brother, Sviatoslav, was in Russia. The boys are orphaned, and Svyatoslav was taken to Russia from the temporarily occupied Lysychansk by relatives.

"Sviatoslav really wanted to return to Ukraine, but he couldn't do it alone. For a long time, Ilya tried to find ways to bring him back himself. He contacted various authorities in Ukraine but faced refusals or redirections. His brother's fate changed after a call to the Ministry of Reintegration hotline," the ministry stated.

Working with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus, the Consulate General in Lublin, and with support from the Ukrainian Network for Children's Rights, the Ministry of Reintegration organized Sviatoslav's return.

The Ukrainian Network for Children's Rights explained that the return of 16-year-old Sviatoslav from deportation in Russia was facilitated under The Way Home project.

They added that due to escalating danger in Lysychansk, the boy's aunt took him to the Voronezh region in Russia, despite promising Ilya to relocate him to another city in Ukraine. In Russia, she obtained Russian citizenship for him and enrolled him in a Russian school, all without Sviatoslav's consent.

"His older brother was searching for ways to bring Svyatoslav back to Ukraine. Despite his severe injuries and reliance on prosthetics, Ilya was determined to care for his younger brother and raise him," the organization emphasized.

  • On June 9, Ukraine successfully repatriated another deported child, 17-year-old Ilona, from Russia.
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