Russian special services obstructing return of Ukrainian children home – ombudsman

5 April, 11:29 AM
Children (Photo:REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov)

Children (Photo:REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov)

Russian special services are blocking the return of abducted Ukrainian children from Russian captivity to their homes, while some children are trying to return to Ukraine by themselves, Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets wrote on his Telegram on April 4.

He described the case of 17-year-old Bohdan Yerokhin from Mariupol, who was kidnapped and forcibly taken to Donetsk, and then placed with a foster family in Russia, while his sister remained in Ukraine.

“It should be noted that this young man is a citizen of Ukraine. Therefore, his forcible displacement to the territory of the aggressor country is not a ‘rescue’, as (war-crimes suspect and Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman) Lvova-Belova points out, but a crime,” Lubinets said.

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He said boy attempted to return to Ukraine by himself, but was stopped by Russian special services in Belarus and sent back to Russia. Lvova-Belova herself reported the case, Lubinets said.

“This story is another public acknowledgement of the war crimes committed – the abduction of Ukrainian children!” the Ukrainian official said.

“I’m confident that there will be just punishment for this! We’re working towards this, and in regard to the above-mentioned fact and similar cases, we will be turning to competent authorities!”

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