Journalists identify people responsible for abduction of Ukrainian children

3 May, 09:26 PM
Civilians taken by Russia from Kherson to occupied Crimea on the eve of retreat, November 2, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS / Alexey Pavlishak)

Civilians taken by Russia from Kherson to occupied Crimea on the eve of retreat, November 2, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS / Alexey Pavlishak)

Besides Russia’s Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, numerous Russian officials are involved in abducting Ukrainian children and deporting them to Russia, and Ukrainska Pravda has identified some of them in an investigative piece published on May 3.

Child services officials in Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories, "children's ombudsperson," and "ministries of education, youth, and sports" are all involved in the so-called "re-education" of Ukrainian children, according to the article.

The "educators" are headed by Valentina Lavryk in Crimea, Olga Kaludarova in Donetsk Oblast, Ivan Kusov in Luhansk Oblast, Mikhail Rodikov in the occupied part of Kherson Oblast, and Elena Shapurova in Zaporizhzhya Oblast.

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The child services in Russia-controlled areas of Donetsk Oblast are headed by Svetlana Mayboroda, in Crimea – by Anastasia Omelchenko.

The "Ministries of Youth and Sports" in occupied territories are headed by Alexander Gromakov, Dmitriy Sidorov, Elvira Vitrenko, and Anton Tytskyi, respectively.

The Children's Ombudsman of the occupied Crimea is Irina Kliuyeva, in Donetsk – Daria Morozova, and in Luhansk – Inna Shvenk.

"Ministries of social policy and labor" are involved in the abduction of children, albeit indirectly – they paid child benefits to parents in the occupied areas last year, the journalists found.

The Ministry of Social Affairs is headed by Denis Strelchenko in Russia-controlled areas of Donetsk Oblast, by Svetlana Malakhova in Luhansk, by Yevgeny Markelov in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhya Oblast, by Alla Barkhatnova in the occupied part of Kherson Oblast, by Elena Romanovska in Crimea, and by Anton Kotyakov in Russia proper.

The former representative of Russia’s Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Irina Pleshcheva, is in charge of "child education," serving in the administration of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

The illegal and cruel scheme also requires broad cooperation from Moscow-appointed “administrators” of temporarily occupied Ukrainian territory: Sergey Aksyonov, Leonid Pasichnyk, Denis Pushilin, Vladimir Saldo, and Yevgeny Balitsky.

The number of Ukrainian children illegally detained in Russia could range from 16,000 to 300,000, according to the European Parliament. The estimation takes into account that Russia began abducting Ukrainian children back in 2014, when it occupied Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin and Lvova-Belova on suspicion of committing war crimes in connection with forced relocation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

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