Ukrainian Children Found on Russian Adoption Websites – Alona Lebedieva

An investigation by the Financial Times has uncovered that Ukrainian children, abducted during Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, have appeared on Russian adoption websites under false names. These actions constitute a gross violation of international law, including children’s rights.

This is a horrendous violation of children’s rights and an attempt to erase their national identity. The international community must take more decisive action to stop these crimes and ensure the return of the children to their homes,” stated Alona Lebedieva, founder of the Aurum Charitable Foundation and the European non-profit organization Aurum Charity Foundation.

Using image recognition technology and open-source data, FT journalists identified four Ukrainian children on the website The Ukrainian authorities confirmed their identities through family connections.

These findings are part of a broader pattern of human rights violations by Russia, including the illegal relocation and integration of Ukrainian children into Russian families. Removing children from their homes and forcibly giving them new identities violates numerous international conventions, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” says Alona Lebedieva.

She recalls that last year, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for russian president vladimir putin and the Commissioner for Children’s Rights maria lvova-belova for the illegal deportation of children, recognizing these actions as war crimes.

The FT investigation highlights the severity of the issue of illegal deportation and adoption of Ukrainian children in Russia. Russian claims that these actions were meant to protect the children are absurd and indefensible. True protection for these children means returning them to their families and ensuring their right to identity and safety in Ukraine,” Lebedieva emphasizes.

We will not cease our fight to bring our children back and protect their rights. Each case of illegal adoption is a tragedy but also a challenge we must overcome. We will seek truth and justice for every child affected by these crimes,” she assured.

To recall: According to the Office of the President of Ukraine, about 20,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly deported to Russia since the invasion began.