Bi-Weekly Digest 12

Latest News

  • October 21: 3 forcibly deported Ukrainian children were repatriated to Ukraine. This was done as part of the implementation of the Bring Kids Back UA action plan
  • October 19: The child who was deported to Russia was rescued through the combined efforts of hromadske journalists and the Save Ukraine fund. Presently, 9-year-old Nikita resides in Poland with his grandmother Polina.
  • October 18: hromadske presented an investigative film about the abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia. The film A Guide to Hell is the story of 9-year-old Nikita Bilenchuk and his grandmother, who, in June 2023, followed the boy to the temporarily occupied territory.
  • October 18: Mark Levy wrote a book about the abduction of Ukrainian children. The book Symphony of Monsters has already been published in France. According to Levy, it is his duty to write about the abduction of children in Ukraine so that “no one can say afterwards that I didn’t know what was going on.”
  • October 16: Maria Lvova-Belova conducted a press conference for international journalists. For over an hour at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Children’s Rights Commissioner attempted to “dispel the myths propagated about her by Ukraine and the collective West.” The primary tactic employed by the Commissioner was to deflect responsibility for her own contentious actions onto Ukraine, framing the discussion within the context of “morality and ethics” rather than international law.
  • October 16: Ukraine returned four children deported by Russia. These are three boys — 3, 6, and 9 years old and a 17-year-old girl, the head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said.
  • October 16: According to an unnamed Qatari official who spoke to Reuters, three Ukrainian children, who were forcibly deported to Russia, are currently in the procedure of being handed over to Qatari diplomats in Russia. The diplomats will subsequently aid in their repatriation to Ukraine.
  • October 4: Russian propagandists are gearing up for a series of media initiatives aimed at bolstering the reputation of Maria Lvova-Belova, Putin’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights. Scheduled for 16 October, they plan to conduct a briefing for international journalists with the intent of rationalizing the removal of Ukrainian children from temporarily occupied territories. The primary objective is to uphold the public perception of Maria Lvova-Belova in her role as Commissioner for Children’s Rights.

Advocacy advances

  1. Ombudsman Lubinets conducted a virtual meeting with Gadi Al-Gajri, the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Ukraine. Firstly, he expressed gratitude for their assistance in repatriating four Ukrainian children from Russia, who have since been reunited with their relatives in Ukraine. Additionally, they deliberated on the potential role of the State of Qatar in facilitating the return of civilian hostages, prisoners of war, and children from unlawful deportation.
  2. A session concerning the execution of the Action Plan Bring Kids Back UA was convened, led by Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk. The agenda centered on safeguarding the rights of children who were either displaced to the International Labor Organization or illicitly transported beyond Ukrainian borders. Specifically, the discussion revolved around potential strategies to determine their whereabouts and facilitate their return to Ukraine-controlled territories, as well as uncover instances of unlawful adoption, among other related matters.
  3. At a side event within the framework of the Warsaw Conference on the Human Dimension of the OSCE, Ombudsman Lubinets spoke about the youngest victims of the Russian war against Ukraine, namely the deported and raped. He presented the actual figures as of today since the beginning of the full-scale armed aggression: 507 children died, 1,129 children were injured, 19,546 children were verified deported, although according to Russian open sources, there are many times more, over 700 thousand.

The aggressor country kidnaps Ukrainian children under the guise of rescue and recovery, which is one of the components of the crime of genocide.

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