Espreso. Global

Russia has organized abduction of Ukrainian children through "humanitarian missions" - Ukraine’s official

10 October, 2023 Tuesday

Russia is abducting Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories through the humanitarian mission ‘Into the Hands of Children’ founded by ICC wanted Russian Children's Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova

Mariupol mayor's adviser Petro Andryushchenko reported.

It is noted that  Lvova-Belova founded the initiative ‘Into the Hands of Children’ under the "umbrella" of the Russian Humanitarian Mission (RHM), a global organization that promotes Russian influence through the "humanitarian sphere" and is similar to a network of agents of influence in all respects. 

According to Andryushchenko, this mission was launched on November 15, 2022. However, in April, the regional websites of the children's ombudsman's representatives began advertising and fundraising.

"This strangely coincides with the time when Lvova-Belova started abducting children from Mariupol. In such cases, it is difficult to believe in coincidence," emphasized the advisor to the Mariupol mayor.

He noted that the reports of the Russian organization for the second half of July - August 2022 indicate that during Lvova-Belova's visit, 13 children were taken from the Donetsk region to be placed in families and 133 children received Russian citizenship. This happened before the pseudo-referendum.

In addition, the report for September-December indicates that 433 children from the temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine were taken to Russia.

"Now it is clear that all abductions of children are not carried out by Russian state bodies, but by such 'humanitarian missions' as ‘Into the Hands of Children’. And the coordination of this process is fully controlled by the RHM," emphasized Andryushchenko. 

He also emphasized that Ukraine will search for the children until it finds them, and the facts made public will help in collecting evidence against the kidnappers.

Deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia

In the context of a full-scale invasion, Russia is deporting Ukrainian children en masse from the occupied territories of Ukraine. They are taken to the occupied Crimea, Russia or Belarus, allegedly for rehabilitation or to rest in camps.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. They are suspected of forcibly deporting Ukrainian children.

On May 13, at a briefing in Rome with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he knew of more than 19,300 children deported by the Russians. On May 29, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets spoke at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on the issue of Russia's abduction of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine. The Ombudsman said that Russia deliberately changes legislation to make it impossible for Ukrainian children to return home and uses, among other things, the forced change of their citizenship to Russian.

Lubinets also noted that Russia does not provide any data on Ukrainian deported children - it is not even known where they are and in what conditions. He also said that Russians use child labor and militarize Ukrainian children in the temporarily occupied territories.

On June 8, a US Senate committee supported a draft resolution condemning the abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia and calling the occupiers' actions genocide.

Later, evidence emerged of Belarus' involvement in the deportation of Ukrainian children. On June 27, the Belarusian opposition submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court of the involvement of the self-proclaimed head of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and his entourage in war crimes.

On July 18, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on UN countries to join forces and force Russia to return to Ukrainian parents and their children taken against their will to Russia during the war in Ukraine. On August 1, the US State Department called on Russia to stop deporting Ukrainian children from the occupied territories and to return them home.

On August 10, the National Resistance Center reported that Russian forces took teenagers from the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk region to military camps in Russia. The teenagers are being trained there, among other things.

On August 11, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko confirmed that forcibly deported Ukrainian children are held in his country. He added that Russia, Belarus would continue to take children from Ukraine.

On September 24, the lower house of Canada's parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, calling such actions of the occupiers war crimes and genocide.

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