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Russia deports 17 Ukrainian children with disabilities from Donetsk Oblast, ombudsman says

Russian occupation troops on a tank get ready to take position near Donetsk airport during fighting with Ukrainian defenders in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, October 4, 2014. (Image: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov)
Russian occupation troops on a tank get ready to take position near Donetsk airport during fighting with Ukrainian defenders in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, October 4, 2014. (Image: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov)
Russia deports 17 Ukrainian children with disabilities from Donetsk Oblast, ombudsman says

Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said Russian ombudswoman for children’s rights Maria Lvova-Belova has once again facilitated the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

According to Lubinets, Russia has illegally transferred 17 Ukrainian children with disabilities from the Russian-occupied territories of Donetsk Oblast to a rehabilitation center near Moscow.

The Ukrainian ombudsman said the children were sent to the “Ogoniok” center by a plane belonging to the Russian Defense Ministry.

“The practice of removing Ukrainian children is not a gesture of goodwill with the aim of helping, but a strategically important program of the aggressor state. Under the pretext of providing medical care, forced passportization of Ukrainian citizens by Russians takes place.

Because a mandatory condition for treatment is the possession of a Russian passport, which is issued by simplified procedure according to Putin’s order. Thus, the imposition of Russian citizenship is enforced, contradicting the norms of international law,” Dmytro Lubinets added.

He also said 150 Ukrainian children who lived in occupied territories of Kherson, Zeporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblast, called by Moscow as “in new regions of Russia,” were “rehabilitated” in this way last year.

This month, Russian leader Vladimir Putin signed a decree making it possible to confer Russian citizenship on Ukrainian children deported to Russia.

In March 2023, The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants of arrest for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova. The ICC alleged that both individuals are responsible for committing war crimes, specifically the unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.

ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes

According to the ICC, there were reasonable grounds to believe that both individuals bore individual criminal responsibility for their actions, whether directly or through others. The crimes were allegedly committed in the occupied territory of Ukraine from at least 24 February 2022.

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