Russia is deporting Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories, this must be stopped – Alona Lebedieva

Under the guise of health trips, Russia is once again planning to take Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories in the summer. The Center for National Resistance reported that sanatoriums in St. Petersburg will accommodate 2,480 children and 150 educators.

The so-called recuperation involves brainwashing these children, tuning them against Ukraine and everything Ukrainian, instilling hatred towards their homeland and the people living there. Some of the boys and girls taken away never return, their fate is unknown,” says Alona Lebedieva, owner of the Ukrainian diversified industrial and investment group of companies “Aurum Group”.

She also mentioned that the occupation administrations in the temporarily seized lands are preparing lists of children without guardianship to subsequently hand over these children to Russian families.

The abduction of children from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine is one of the many war crimes committed by Russia during the war. The exact number of young Ukrainians separated from their families and taken to the Russian Federation is unknown. At the same time, the Russian Federation is talking about the abduction of children from temporarily of the occupied territories of Ukraine,” the message reads. The Russians themselves claim that there were more than 324,000 “evacuated” children, but only a few hundred were successfully returned home,” says Lebedieva.

The Ukrainian government, along with civil organizations and international intermediaries, is working on bringing home every abducted child. However, these efforts are insufficient. Therefore, I reiterate the call I made during the International Women’s Forum: we must unite the efforts of the international community and Ukrainian organizations and increase pressure on Russia to return every abducted child home.

As a reminder, as of early March, Ukraine confirmed the illegal removal of 19,546 children. On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Affairs Maria Lvova-Belova, suspecting them of illegally taking Ukrainian children from occupied territories to Russia.