On 4 January, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order enabling Ukrainian children deported to Russia to acquire Russian citizenship, Ukrainian Ombudsman for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, reported via Telegram on 5 January.
This directive specifically allows orphans and children without parental care, who are Ukrainian citizens, to gain Russian citizenship through Putin’s personal decision, bypassing standard federal legislation requirements.
The Ombudsman expressed concern over this development, stating, “Transferring children from one national group to another is one of the signs of genocide.” He detailed that the applications for such citizenship could be filed by heads of Russian organizations where the child is placed under supervision.
Lubinets argues that the real intent behind granting these children Russian citizenship is to “legally” erase the presence of deported Ukrainian children on Russian territory. Russian citizens, under Putin’s direct approval, can now apply for citizenship on behalf of these Ukrainian children in Russian institutions or foster care, leading to potential adoption as Russians and subsequent alteration of their personal data.
Lubinets warns of the consequences of such actions, with the possibility that no Ukrainian child will remain in Russia as they could all become Russian citizens within the next three months. He commits to taking necessary measures, both domestically and internationally, to address this situation, as forcibly changing children’s national identity constitutes an act of genocide.
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