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380 children deported to Russia returned to Ukraine

russian occupiers remove ukrainian from school curriculum zaporizhzhia oblast
Source: photo by Da Antipina, Shutterstock
380 children deported to Russia returned to Ukraine

Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, a minimum of 380 children who were deported to Russia have been returned to Ukraine.

The number of children was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, Iryna Vereshchuk, in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Vereshchuk mentioned that weekly coordination meetings are held to address individual and group return matters.

She also commented on the statement made by Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, who claimed that 700,000 Ukrainian children had been taken to Russia since February 24, 2022.

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“I am not sure about the 700,000, but it is certainly more than the information we have. We know that nearly 20,000 children were taken,” Vereshchuk explained.

The Minister highlighted that the Ministry of Reintegration is currently collaborating with the international community to expedite the return of orphaned children, for whom the state assumes responsibility.

If a child has parents, they have the option to retrieve their child independently.

“We demand that Russia provide lists of orphaned children. If they call this salvation and refer to it as evacuation, then we demand the return of children evacuated in such a manner,” Vereshchuk added.

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