Accessibility links

Breaking News

Saving Ukrainian Children Deported by Russia

(FILE) A child who was taken to Russia, embraces her mother after returning via the Ukraine-Belarus border.

Over a thousand children have been taken from Ukraine in a process that began even before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Saving Ukrainian Children Deported by Russia
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:03:33 0:00

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently released a report looking into allegations of the forcible deportation of Ukrainian children by Russian authorities.

“There have been a lot of horrible crimes committed by Russia’s forces in Ukraine, but the separation of children from their families’ is among the “most vile and repugnant,” said Ambassador Michael Carpenter, U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

“I think it goes without saying that no government should ever be committing crimes against children, and to do so with the aim of erasing their national identity so as to pave the way for one state to take over the territory of another is simply unconscionable.”

There has been a broader effort by Russia to engage in forcible transfers of the Ukrainian population since 2014, and that over a thousand children have been taken from Crimea in a process that began even before the full-scale invasion of February 24th, 2022, explained Ambassador Carpenter.

“The report notes these children have been sent as far away as Siberia and the Russian far-east. And while thousands of children have been taken from Ukraine, as of April 23rd of this year, only 361 have been returned to Ukraine. That leaves thousands of families still torn apart by Russia’s authorities and thousands of children traumatized,” he said.

There are several ways that these children are taken from their families and caregivers, said Ambassador Carpenter:

“One way is that they’re forcibly separated from their parents or guardians by Russian authorities during the so-called filtration process. When parents are detained and get sent to the filtration camps, the children often get sent to different detention centers. Another way in which Russia has, to be blunt, stolen Ukrainian children from their families is by offering all-expenses-paid trips to children’s camps in places like occupied Crimea as well as in Russia and Belarus.”

For children that are adopted, this process often entails actually changing the child’s name and even their place of birth, which then makes it “impossible to ascertain” their true identities once they disappear into the Russian Federation.

The U.S. is helping Ukraine to return these deported children to their homes and remains committed to holding Russian authorities accountable these right violations.