Russia rejected the allegations against it and said it was willing to return the forcibly deported Ukrainian children

Russia rejected the complaints against it and assured that it was willing to return the Ukrainian children deported by force (AP) (Rodrigo Abd /)

Within the framework of the repeated complaints that have been presented in recent times by the Forced deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia since the beginning of the war, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday that it was willing to return these minors to their families.

The Russian Commissioner for the Rights of the Child, Maria Lvova-Belovaaffirmed that his office will advance with this process of restitution to the families, as long as it is requested by kyiv. In this sense, he added that -for now- “No representative of the Ukrainian authorities” regarding the deported children has contacted her, so she urged them to start talks: “Write to me (…) to find your children”.

Irina Vereschchuk, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine recently denounced that Russia “repeatedly” blocks the return of Ukrainian minors who were forcibly deported to enemy territory.

Forced deportation constitutes a war crime and it has been a tactic used repeatedly by the Moscow authorities, since February 2022. According to data provided by the office of President Volodimir Zelensky, more than 16,000 children they have been “kidnapped” in this little more than a year of war.

However, the NGO Human Rights Watch realized a hundred boarding schools with more than 32,000 minors that remained under the control of the Russians and a recent report ensures that at least 380 Ukrainian orphans are living with Russian foster families.

yearbook war ukraine russia
According to Ukraine, at least 16,000 children were kidnapped by Russia (Getty Images)

Moscow maintains that these practices are a way of “save” these children who were involved in the fighting and ensures that it has established mechanisms and procedures to reunite them with their families once they are identified and the exchange is safe.

It should be noted that in May Putin signed a decree that facilitates the granting of Russian citizenship some minors and, according to kyiv officials, these children They receive Russian nationality, although they retain the Ukrainian one.

However, this version has not been accepted by international organizations that have celebrated the fact that on March 17 the International Criminal Court issued a warrant against Vladimir Putin and Lvova-Belova for this crime.

Putin and Lvova-Belova have an arrest warrant issued by the ICC for this war crime (REUTERS)
Putin and Lvova-Belova have an arrest warrant issued by the ICC for this war crime (REUTERS) (Sputnik Photo Agency /)

According to the document released weeks ago, the Court maintains that the officials are “allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of the population (children) and the illegal transfer of the population (children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.

Likewise, the prosecutors claimed to have “reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect is responsible for the war crime.”

After the issuance of the order, Putin and his commissioner have been practically imprisoned in the country since there are very few countries that they could enter without risk of being detained. On the other hand, there are 123 nations that make up the Rome Statute and that are obliged to carry out their detention, to appear on their territory or to fly over it.

Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova arrives in Moscow with a group of boys illegally transferred from the then-occupied city of Mariupol in October last year.  (Presidency of the Russian Federation)
Lvova-Belova assured that she was open to returning the children, if requested by Ukraine (Presidency of the Russian Federation)

In an effort to maintain her version, the Russian official commented that, since March 29, 16 minors from nine families have been reunited with their Ukrainian relatives although, from their office, they again refused to publish a complete list of the children in their possession.

(With information from AFP)

Keep reading:

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Human Rights Watch denounced the forced deportation to Russia of children from conquered areas of Ukraine

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