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Teen deported to Russia from Mariupol will return to Ukraine

“I can officially confirm that we have made arrangements for Bogdan’s return to Ukraine and his reunion with his sister,” Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said.
Bogdan Ermokhin on the Russian state TV. Photo: screenshot
Teen deported to Russia from Mariupol will return to Ukraine

Bogdan Ermokhin, a 17-year-old Ukrainian boy who was forcibly deported by Russian authorities from the occupied city of Mariupol and faced attempted conscription into the Russian army, will return to Ukraine, as reported by Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets on 10 November.

“I can officially confirm that we have made arrangements for Bogdan’s return to Ukraine and his reunion with his sister,” Lubinets wrote on his Telegram channel.

Russian authorities deported Ermokhin following the occupation of Mariupol in May 2022. He was adopted by Irina Rudnitskaya, a doctor who had served on the front lines during the Russian-Chechen war.

In March 2023, Ermokhin attempted to escape Russia and return to Ukraine. On 23 March, Bohdan was reported missing. The Russian National Child Assistance Center broadcasted this news on social media, and two days later, they said that he had been found over a thousand kilometers away at the Belarusian border. Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Lvova-Belova accused the Ukrainian intelligence agencies of attempting to kidnap him.

In March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Lvova-Belova and Russian President Vladimir Putin for “criminal responsibility for the unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

Russia has forcibly transferred nearly 5 million Ukrainians, including over 700,000 children, from Ukraine to Russia since launching its full-scale invasion in 2022.

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