Bi-Weekly Digest 14

Latest News

  • November 19: 18-year-old Bohdan Yermokhin, who was forcibly deported by the occupiers to Russia in May 2022 from occupied Mariupol, returned to Ukraine.
  • November 18: Inna Varlamova has been sanctioned by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. Her inclusion is attributed to her involvement in the forcible deportation of children from the Kherson Children’s Home during Russia’s occupation.
  • November 17: The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine consulted with Georgia’s law enforcement and justice authorities to coordinate a mechanism to repatriate Ukrainian citizens who had been serving sentences in Russian Federation prisons and were subsequently deported to Russian territory.
  • November 16: The Humanitarian Research Lab at the Yale School of Public Health has released a report stating that at least 2,442 children, aged between six and 17, from Ukraine have been forcibly deported to 13 facilities in Belarus following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The HRL determined that the deportation of Ukrainian children was directly orchestrated by Lukashenko and Putin, with the backing of the special services of Russia and Belarus.
  • November 9: On World Adoption Day, Inna Schwenk, self-styled Commissioner for Children’s Rights of the LNR, appointed to the role with the backing of Maria Lvova-Belova, stated that from January 2023, Russian citizens have adopted 29 Ukrainian children, who have been deported to Russia.
  • November 8: Designer Frank Wilde initiated a petition urging the Bundestag to endorse the repatriation of deported children. To date, the petition has garnered over 50,000 signatures.
  • November 6: The Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea sent two indictments to the court against occupation judges from Crimea, who are involved in the deportation of residents of the peninsula. Their actions are qualified as a war crime, that is, a violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 1 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). The accused face up to 12 years in prison.
  • November 3: Several foreign journalists have covered stories about deported Ukrainian children placed in the Moscow region. According to Maria Lvova-Belova, reporters from ABC News, the Finnish publication “Helsingin Sanomat,” the Japanese newspaper “Sankei Simbun,” the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and others have participated. The nominal composition of the delegation indicates that they all received accreditation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation a long time ago. However, there are no publications about the visit on the journalists’ private pages, official media pages, or any photos of these individuals from the scene of the event, despite the disclosure of the participants’ names by the Russian Federation.
  • October 30: A group of 47 Ukrainian children was deported to Belarus. The children from the occupied cities of Mariupol and Dokuchayevsk were sent to the “Kolos” rehabilitation center in the Brest region for what is referred to as “re-education.”


Advocacy advances

  1. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk convened a meeting with a Save the Children in Ukraine delegation to discuss the ongoing “Way Home” project. This initiative is focused on locating and repatriating children from the Russian Federation and temporarily occupied territories. Additionally, it aims to facilitate the reunification of families whose children found themselves in occupied areas without their parents. Thanks to this project, as of mid-November 2023, 45 children—comprising 23 boys and 22 girls—have successfully been returned.
  2. On November 20, Ombudsman Lubinets met with Amina Buayach, the Secretary of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, to explore avenues for supporting the organization in repatriating deported children to Ukraine.
  3. Where Are Our People? team released a report about the historical and socio-anthropological aspects of the mass deportation of Ukrainians conducted by Russia “Deportations as Mass Repressions against Humanity from History to the Present. Historical and Socio-Anthropological Aspects”.


Materials we facilitated


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