Kyiv reports Russia’s plans to abduct children from occupied Ukrainian territories

Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets
Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets

The Russian occupation authorities have begun to compile lists of children from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to abduct them to Russia, Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said on May 3, according to Espreso.

Such lists primarily include children deprived of parental care or orphans, but the lists also include the names of children who have parents.

The Ombudsman noted that the information is not official, as it was obtained through intelligence agencies and Ukrainian citizens.

There were even cases of conscription of Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied regions to the Russian armed forces.

Abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia

According to the Ukrainian state platform Children of War, as of April 27, at least 19,546 children have been abducted or forcibly transferred by Russia.

During the fourth meeting of the Peace Formula advisors in Davos on Jan. 14, Lubinets said that Ukraine had returned 517 illegally abducted children and 2,828 adults from Russia, including only 150 civilians.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly announced on Feb. 2 that Canada and Ukraine would create a coalition to bring home abducted Ukrainian children. The United States officially joined the coalition on March 8, and Japan joined on April 27.

Read also: Ukraine returns another family with children from Russian-occupied part of Kherson Oblast

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Feb. 26 that no one can say for sure how many Ukrainians, including children, adult civilians, and military personnel, are being held in Russian captivity.

In total, according to the European Parliament, the number of Ukrainian children illegally abducted to Russia could reach 300,000. MEPs believe that Russians began taking Ukrainian children back in 2014, after the occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Read also: Dozens of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia found in Germany – National Police

Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova said on April 24 that Ukraine and Russia had agreed to exchange children. She claimed that representatives of the countries had held talks in Doha. Lvova-Belova also claimed to have agreed "that 29 would go to Ukraine and 19 to Russia." However, Lubinets said that Ukraine does not conduct direct negotiations with the aggressor state on the return of illegally abducted children. This is done only through the mediation of partners, he stressed.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine