The Ukrainian authorities ordered the evacuation of all children from 21 towns of the Donetsk province (east) affected by fighting between Ukrainian troops defending them and Russian forces trying to take them, reported the Ukrainian Ministry of Reintegration.
The order will involve “the mandatory evacuation of 126 children from 21 towns in the Donetsk region where the security situation remains critical”, reads the official note.
The evacuation will be carried out by five patrols of the unit of the Ukrainian Police known as “White Angels”specialized in the transfer to safe areas in armored vehicles of children who live in towns affected by the war.
Evacuated children must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal representative. The State will offer them a place to live, as well as material aid, humanitarian assistance and psychological support, the Ministry explained in a statement.
Ukraine approved the past 7 of March a provision that allows authorities to compulsorily evacuate minors who remain in areas seriously affected by the conflict.
Meanwhile, the government of Volodimir Zelensky has already documented about 20,000 cases of Ukrainian minors of territories of the country controlled by Moscow that have been deported to the Russian Federation or separated from their families by the occupying authorities.
Some of these children have been given up for adoption to Russian parents, to whom the Kiev government has contacted directly to warn them that it knows their identity and must answer for having offered to assume guardianship of these minors illegally.
“Once again, I remember all the so-called Russian ‘adoptives’ and ‘guardians’: sooner or later they will have to take responsibility for this”, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, said on her Telegram account on Tuesday night Iryna Vereschukwho posted his message in Russian “so the Russians can read it.”
Vereshchuk called the practice of “taking orphaned children from Ukraine and giving them up for adoption to Russian citizens” “illegal and vile”. “The case of those who boast of having adopted children kidnapped in Ukraine is especially repugnant,” added the deputy minister.
Since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, the kyiv government has repeatedly denounced the forced transfer to Russian territory of Ukrainian children from the areas occupied by Moscow.
Ukraine has identified a total of 4,390 Ukrainian children who were in state custody and now live in Russian-controlled territories or in the Russian Federation itself.
According to official data, Ukraine has managed to return 327 minors to its territory whose custody Russia had illegally taken over. Some of these minors have declared to the media that they have been indoctrinated with Russian propaganda and forced to deny their families and their status as Ukrainians.
Earlier this month, the international court The Hague issued two international arrest warrants against the Russian president, Vladimir Putinand against its commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova.
This senior Russian official regularly reports on the adoption by Russian families of Ukrainian minors from the occupied territories. own Lvova-Belova has adopted a minor Mariupol -the city devastated and conquered by Russia last spring- and defends the re-education of these children.
(With information from EFE)
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