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Eight deported Ukrainian children back from Russia

Eight more of the estimated 20,000 Ukrainian children illegally deported to Russia have returned home on 6 December
On 21 March, Ukraine returned 15 children who were deported to Russia. In total, from the start of the Russian invasion, Ukraine has managed to return home 308 children. Photo: Ombudsman of Ukraine’s office

Ukraine returned eight more children who had been illegally deported to Russia, Ukraine’s Human Rights Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said.

According to the data of the Ukrainian authorities, Russia has illegally deported nearly 20,000 children from Ukraine. Ukrainian human rights advocates insist the number of children forcibly displaced from Ukraine is “hundreds of thousands.”

On 6 December, on Saint Nicholas Day, Ukraine’s Human Rights greeted four girls and four boys on native Ukrainian soil. According to Lubinets, the ages of the returned children range from 8 to 18 years old. The children’s return was facilitated by mediation from the International Committee of the Red Cross and Qatar. The children were reunited with relatives at the Qatari embassy in Moscow before returning to Ukraine through Belarus, reports said.

“This was made possible thanks to joint work with the State of Qatar, which has participated for the second time in the process of returning deported children and those who found themselves in the temporarily occupied territory,” Lubinets wrote on Facebook.

On 17 March 2023, 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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