Russia has brought more than 700 thousand children from the occupied regions of Ukraine to its territory since the beginning of the war. This is stated in the report of the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. RBC drew attention to it.
The document also says that 1.5 thousand orphans were brought to Russia. 288 children from the so-called DNR and 92 children from the LNR were placed in Russian families.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of deporting Ukrainian children from the occupied territories. Moscow denied the accusations and explained the removal of children by ensuring their safety.
Because of the suspicion of deporting Ukrainian children, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Lvova-Belova and “Russian President” Vladimir Putin.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect is responsible for the war crime [of] unlawful deportation of the population”, the ICC said in a statement.
In mid-July, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia and Turkey were in talks with Russia over the return of the Ukrainian children. Four people familiar with the negotiations told the newspaper. However, there is no direct dialog between Moscow and Kyiv on this issue.
“We are convinced that there can be no negotiations in this direction because this is not a question of exchanging prisoners of war, these are civilians, these are children”, the Ukrainian children’s rights commissioner, Darya Gerasymchuk, told the newspaper.
The situation is also complicated by the fact that there is no exact list of the children taken to the Russian Federation. Kiev says that almost 20,000 children have been deported.
Russia has returned the children to Ukraine several times. One of the returnees said that the children were kept in a camp in occupied Crimea. According to him, the conditions there were bad and the “educators” practiced corporal punishment.