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31 Ukrainian children illegally deported by Russia returned home

Russia is committing war crimes by forcefully deporting thousands of Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

On April 8, 31 children returned to Ukraine after a special rescue mission. It was the most difficult operation so far, the Ukrainian charitable organization “Save Ukraine”, which was engaged in a mission, reported on Facebook.

In order to return their children, the Ukrainian mothers had to go to the territory of Russia, where they underwent a 13-hour interrogation by the Federal Security Services. Unfortunately, one grandmother who came to take two of her grandchildren home died from the stress she experienced.

At the same time, Russia launched a large-scale information campaign about deported Ukrainian children, and the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, was holding a press conference where she tried to impose a distorted version of events on the world.

As of April 10, 2023, Russian forces illegally deported 19,349 Ukrainian children, of which 360 have already been returned home.

Read more: Russian forces have deported more than 19,000 Ukrainian children to Russia

According to Iryna Vereshchuk, the Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, the Russian authorities illegally held in the temporarily occupied territories or took to the Russian Federation 4,396 Ukrainian orphans. Currently, the Coordination Council of Ukraine for the Protection and Safety of Children, chaired by Andrii Yermak, is working on forming an international coalition: it will have the task of returning Ukrainian orphans and bringing those guilty of crimes against Ukrainian children to justice.

“In this case, the help of the world community is essential to us. A group of international leaders who have expressed their public support for such a coalition is already forming. Among them are Ursula von der Leyen, Mateusz Morawiecki, and others. There must also be an intermediary. It can be anyone: International Committee of the Red Cross, UNHCR, UNICEF, etc. I hope that such a platform will start operating soon,” stated Iryna Vereshchuk.