Nearly 400 Ukrainian children have been or are in the process of being illegally adopted in Russia, said Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, during the nationwide United News telethon.
"We have confirmed 386 children. It is a proven fact that they have been placed in Russian families, and either the adoption process has begun or has been completed."
It is important to establish the fact of adoption for the future prosecution of Russian war crimes suchas genocide, he said. It is crucial to establish the legal fact that Russians are adopting Ukrainian children, rather than, for example, providing temporary custody.
"For us, these terms are very important. It is essential for us to establish the legal fact that Russians are adopting Ukrainian children. Then it clearly falls under the war crime of genocide being committed by the top military and political leadership of the Russian Federation. And this is what we are working on," said Lubinets.
Lubinets provided the example of Russia’s so called “children’s ombudsperson,” Maria Lvova-Belova, who initially claimed to have adopted a child from Ukraine, but after receiving an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, changed her story to say that it was not an adoption, but instead was temporary protection.
Ukraine managed to return 11 Ukrainian children who had been illegally taken out of the country by Russians, reported the Kherson Regional State Administration (ODA) on Sep. 1.
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