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Ukraine secures release of 11 children from Russian-occupied territories

Children
11 Ukrainian kids return home from Russian-occupied territories. Septetmber 2023. Credit: Kherson Oblast Administration.

Eleven children aged 2 to 16, whom Russia illegally detained in the occupied territories of the Kherson Oblast, returned to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, the Kherson Oblast Administration reported on 1 September.

The return of the Ukrainian children back home became possible due to the work of the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Ukraine’s Ministry for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, Save Ukraine NGO, and the Ukrainian Child Rights Network, the Kherson Oblast Administration reported.

“School lessons started today. Another 11 children will be able to study in Ukrainian educational institutions. They were returned home after being illegally abducted by the occupiers,” the Kherson Oblast Administration announced.

Six of the kids who returned from the Russian-occupied territories were deprived of parental care. Five of the children returned to their families.

Deportation in the 21st century: what you need to know about Russia’s crime in Ukraine

According to Ukraine’s presidential aide Daria Herasymchuk, 450,000 Ukrainian children were allegedly deported to the territory of Russia from the occupied territories of Ukraine.

On 17 March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging they are guilty of the war crime of unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.

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