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Ukraine demands OSCE action on Russia's 'abduction' of thousands of Ukrainian kids

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba (right) at a press conference with the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta and the current head of the OSCE Ian Borg
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba (right) at a press conference with the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta and the current head of the OSCE Ian Borg

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with Maltese Foreign Minister and current OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ian Borg on Feb. 2 and called on the organization to address the issue of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia.

"I urged the OSCE to take additional steps immediately to use all available opportunities to address the issue of abducted Ukrainian children and civilian hostages," Kuleba said.

Special attention was paid to Russia's criminal practice of abducting children, as well as the protection of civilian hostages and forced passportization.

Read also: At least 10,200 civilians killed in Ukraine war – UN

The talks with the Maltese Foreign Minister concerned "expanding the OSCE's documentation of Russian crimes in Ukraine, including war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine."

The Ukrainian diplomat suggested that the OSCE should also address the rights of national minorities in Russia.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly arrived in Kyiv and announced the creation of a coalition to return deported Ukrainian children on Feb. 2.

Abduction of Ukrainian children — what is known

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 — namely the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on April 27, 2023, recognizing the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide.

Read also: Rocket debris hits high-rise apartment, kindergarten as Russia attacks Kyiv early on Jan. 23 morning

PACE created a special committee on violations of the rights of Ukrainian children by the Russians on Nov. 27, 2023.

Using third countries, Ukraine managed to return 387 children out of almost 20,000 abducted by Russia, First Lady Olena Zelenska announced on Dec. 9, 2023.

Ukraine returned 517 illegally deported children and 2,828 adults from Russia, including 150 civilians, Dmytro Lubinets announced at a Peace Formula meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 14, 2024.

PACE unanimously adopted the resolution on the Status of Children of Ukraine on Jan. 25, 2024. The resolution calls on EU member states to recognize the deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia as genocide of the Ukrainian people.

As of Jan. 6, 2024, 19,546 children were deported or forcibly relocated to Russia, Ukraine’s Children of War platform announced.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine