British Ambassador reveals reasons behind Russia’s abduction of Ukrainian children

31 July, 05:53 AM
British Ambassador reveals reasons behind Russia’s abduction of Ukrainian children (Photo:NV)

British Ambassador reveals reasons behind Russia’s abduction of Ukrainian children (Photo:NV)

Russia is illegally involved in replacing and deporting Ukrainian children with the sinister motive of exterminating the next generation of defenders of Ukraine, and the abduction of children is also part of the Russian invasion plan.

That’s according to British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons, who made the claim in an interview with military news outlet ArmyInform on July 29.

“Stealing children is also part of the invasion and it hurts actually to talk about it in that way because, you know, these are people's kids and I actually can barely stand the thought that children are taken away either forcibly or under the, you know, pretense that they're going to summer camps or that they're going somewhere for their health or even if they are going to summer camps or for their health, Ambassador Simmons said.

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“It's both made bureaucratically difficult for families to bring them back, or (the children) are subject to an extraordinary, relentless range of brainwashing (by the Russians).”

The diplomat said she believes that the issue of child abduction is not new, as “Ukraine has seen (this) over the years.”

Simmons adds that kidnapping creates a psychological barrier between children and their parents.

“This issue of taking child away children away is not a new thing. (It) creates psychological barrier between the kids and their parents,” Ambassador Simmons said.

“We know that there are children who come back from some of those engagements thinking that, you know, fighting Ukraine is the right thing to do. And so Ukraine inherits not just one but two issues here. One is the need of course to return those children to their families but the other is the psychological journey to undo the harm of that brainwashing.”

The ambassador said that the Kremlin's plan to deport Ukrainian children is cynical and terrifying and it aims to eradicate the next generation of defenders of Ukraine.

“All of it adds up to a story which is utterly horrendous, it's horrendous on every conceivable level and for me it's an issue that doesn't — it's not even one that requires much discussion,” Ambassador Simmons said.

“Stop stealing Ukraine's children, allow those children to return, allow parents to be able to reclaim their children, and allow Ukraine to grow. It's pretty clear that if you steal children from the country – you are doing it to cut off at the knees the idea that there is a viable Next Generation that will defend the country. It's appalling at every level.”

She emphasized the urgency of the issue and called for Russia to end this disturbing policy and immediately reunite children with their parents.

Russian and Belarusian Involvement in Stealing Ukrainian Children

The abduction of Ukrainian children has garnered international attention, with The Hague's International Criminal Court issuing an arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on suspicion of war crimes related to child deportation.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also recognized the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide in a resolution adopted on Apr. 27.

According to Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, nearly 20,000 children have been taken from the occupied territories of Ukraine by Russian forces, with around 6,000 being held in “re-education camps.”

Belarus, in cooperation with Russia, has played a role in the forced transfer of Ukrainian children, with approximately 2,150 children over the age of six deported to Belarus since September 2022.

The European Parliament estimates that the number of Ukrainian children illegally resettled to Russia may range from 16,000 to 300,000, with reports of such abductions dating back to 2014, following the occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Recently, the head of the Belarusian Red Cross, Dmitry Shevtsov, admitted his agency's involvement in the forcible transfer of Ukrainian children, leading the ICRC to initiate an investigation into these facts.

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