Story 11: Marharyta
At the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion, 8-year-old Marharyta travelled to Vinnytsia with her mother, Veronica. At the end of summer 2022, the girl stayed with her father in Chervonyy Mayak, located in the Kherson region. A couple of months later, in October, Marharyta was kidnapped by a neighbour named Angela, who was later revealed to be a collaborator. Angela intended to abduct Marharyta and other children from their school in Crimea. Although they reached another village, Angela abandoned Marharyta in Beryslav due to lacking the proper legal documents for the girl.
For a time, Marharyta’s whereabouts remained unknown, but it was suspected that she had been deported to Russia as the Armed Forces of Ukraine advanced in the Kherson region. Veronica discovered a post on social media from a Russian orphanage in Crimea stating that Marharyta was without family and available for adoption.
With the assistance of the SaveUkraine team in January 2023, Veronica was able to travel to Crimea to retrieve her daughter. The family is now reunited.