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Ukraine repatriates 600 of at least 20,000 children abducted by Russia

Last year, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, accusing them of illegally deporting Ukrainian children to Russia.
Ukrainian children from Kherson Children's Home
Ukrainian children from Kherson Children’s Home before taken to Russia. Source: The New York Times
Ukraine repatriates 600 of at least 20,000 children abducted by Russia

Ukraine has repatriated 600 children illegally deported by Russia, but over 20,000 were forcibly transferred, according to Ukrainian Ambassador to the Netherlands Oleksandr Karasevych.

What happened to Ukrainian children on Russia-occupied territories may amount to a war crime. The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, accusing them of illegally deporting Ukrainian children to Russia.

“If we look at the scale of Russian crimes, it is enormous. The Russians themselves claim to have deported 700,000 children from Ukrainian territory to Russia. But we have data on around 20,000 such cases, and unfortunately, only 600 displaced children who were taken have returned home so far,” he said speaking at the International Commission on Missing Persons’ Round Table on Missing Ukrainian Children. 

He stressed that deported Ukrainian children have had their citizenship changed, names altered, and been put up for adoption by Russian families – part of a “genocidal policy” against Ukrainians.

To address this, Ukraine launched Bring Kids Back UA – a comprehensive plan uniting government efforts, other nations, and international/non-governmental organizations to repatriate all Ukrainian children deported by Russia.

Karasevych noted that 37 countries have joined the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children so far.

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