Putin “legalizes” the abduction of children from Ukraine, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

1 June, 01:23 PM
Saltivka, Kharkiv on May 17 (Photo:REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes)

Saltivka, Kharkiv on May 17 (Photo:REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has effectively legalized the abduction of Ukrainian children with his May 30 decree, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on May 31.

The decree in question simplifies the process of granting Russian citizenship to Ukrainian orphans, or those left without parental care.

“Russia's actions grossly violate the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949, which provides for the obligation of the occupying state not to change the civil status of children, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989,” the statement reads.

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“Under international law, Russia's actions may also be qualified as the forcible transfer of children from one human group to another.”

The Foreign Ministry stated that since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russians have forcibly abducted hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens, including children, to the territory of the Russian Federation.

The Ministry has called on the international community to step up sanctions pressure on Russia in order to force it to stop its aggression against Ukraine and its blatant violations of international law.

“The most serious international crimes against children committed by Russian high-ranking officials and military personnel in Ukraine will be investigated, and the perpetrators will be prosecuted,” the Foreign Ministry asserted.

“Russia will not be able to avoid the strictest responsibility.”

Russia has forcibly abducted 1.4 million Ukrainian citizens to its territory, former Ombudman for Human Rights in Ukraine, Lyudmyla Denisova, said on May 23.

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