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Qatar to return three Russian-abducted Ukrainian children after repatriation talks

Three Ukrainian children, previously forcibly deported to Russia, are set for release to Qatari officials, signaling Qatar’s larger goal of repatriating abducted Ukrainian children, according to a Reuters source.
Qatar to return three Russian-abducted Ukrainian children after repatriation talks

Three Ukrainian children who had been taken to Russia are to be released to Qatari diplomats in Moscow this week under a mechanism Qatar has set up with the goal of returning many more children from Russia to Ukraine, an unnamed Qatari official briefed on the plans told Reuters on 16 October.

This move by Qatar isn’t isolated. Just last on 13 October, the country facilitated the reunification of a seven-year-old Ukrainian child with his grandmother, who was moving to Ukraine via Estonia, the official told Reuters. The other three children are a boy aged 2, a 9-year-old boy, and a girl aged 17.

These repatriations serve as initial tests for a system established by the Gulf nation after secretive negotiations with both Moscow and Kyiv. 

These efforts have been confirmed by Lolwah Al Khater, Qatar’s minister of state for international cooperation, who emphasizes that these recent repatriations are “only a first step.”

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has forcibly transferred thousands of Ukrainian children, often forcibly adopting them into Russian families and creating obstacles for reunification with their relatives.

Since the onset of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia forcibly transferred and adopted thousands of Ukrainian children, impeding their reunification with their families. The International Criminal Court (ICC)  has issued arrest warrants for Putin, alleging involvement in these potential war crimes. Under international law, notably the 1948 Genocide Convention, such actions intending to eliminate a nation or ethnic group, wholly or partially, are classified as genocide.

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