Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova took 17 more Ukrainian children from the occupied Donetsk Oblast under the guise of “rehabilitation,” Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets reported on Jan. 22.
“This time, 17 children with diseases of the nervous system and musculoskeletal system were sent by a Russian Defense Ministry plane to the Ogonyok rehabilitation center near Moscow,” the ombudsperson wrote.
150 Ukrainian children currently living in the occupied territories have been “healed and rehabilitated” in this way over the past year, according to Moscow.
The Ukrainian official stressed that under the pretext of rehabilitation and medical care, the Russians are carrying out forced passportization of residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine.
“After all, a prerequisite for treatment is a Russian passport, which is issued under a simplified procedure by order of Putin,” Lubinets said.
“Thus, Russian citizenship is being imposed under duress, which is contrary to international law.”
The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova in March 2023. They are suspected of committing war crimes by abducting Ukrainian children to Russia.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on April 27 recognizing the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide.
The PACE set up a special committee on Nov. 27 to investigate the violation of the rights of Ukrainian children by Russians.
First Lady Olena Zelenska announced on Dec. 9, 2023, that Ukraine had managed to return 387 children out of nearly 20,000 abducted by Russians through third countries.
Dmytro Lubinets reported during the fourth meeting of the Peace Formula Advisors in Davos on Jan. 14 that Ukraine had returned 517 illegally abducted children and 2,828 adults from Russia, including only 150 civilians.
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