13,000 Ukrainian Children Abducted from Ukraine: A Ukrainian official confirmed this week that more than 13,000 Ukrainian children had been deported to Russia since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Daria Gerasymchuk, the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children’s Rights, said during a briefing in Kyiv on Friday that the number of children being abducted continues to grow.
“Today we have information about 13 thousand Ukrainian children who have been deported or displaced by the Russian authorities,” Gerasymchuk said. “And this, unfortunately, is not the final figure.”
The Ukrainian officials also said that there is a lot left to learn about the matter – particularly with regards to abducted children who are still unaccounted for – and accused Russian authorities of stealing children.
“We will still have a lot to learn about at least tens of thousands of Ukrainian children who have been stolen by the Russian authorities,” she said.
Amnesty International Accuses Russia Of “Crimes Against Humanity”
Global human rights organization Amnesty International said in November that Russia has likely committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine by forcibly removing children from the country and deporting them to Russia.
Agnes Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty, revealed how civilians in Ukraine have described an “abusive screening process,” known as “filtration,” whereby adults are detained and tortured, and their children separated from their parents.
“Separating children from their families and forcing people hundreds of kilometers from their homes are further proof of the severe suffering Russia’s invasion has inflicted on Ukraine’s civilians,” Callamard said.
“Russia’s deplorable tactic of forcible transfer and deportation is a war crime. Amnesty International believes this must be investigated as a crime against humanity.”
Russia Sees It Differently
Russian authorities and legislators have previously defended the transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia, and television presenters are similarly defending the measures.
In early December, Russian television presenter and propagandist Olga Skabeeva argued that children being removed from Ukraine are better off in Russia.
Skabeeva said that children taken from Ukraine are moved to holiday camps in Crimea where they are given food, water, education, and warm clothes.
“Those children whom Russia, as it were, steals, according to [Polish President] Duda, end up going to children’s holiday camps in the Crimea. They are given drinks, food, shoes, they are kept warm, and they study,” the Russian television presenter said.
“But this is called ‘stealing children.’”
Skabeeva did not deny the fact that Russia does, in fact, remove these children from their homeland and take them away from their families.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.