| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Russia Activates Kidnapping in Ukranian Occupied Territories

Russia is facing a demographic crisis now, so Putin seeks to partially compensate the rapid extinction of Russians by kidnapped Ukrainian children. In particular, at least 20,000 young Ukrainians have been forcibly deported to the Russian Federation since the start of the full-scale invasion. We are talking about official data, when every case of deportation of Ukrainian children to the Russian Federation is documented. However, the real statistics are unknown, because the Russians do not provide any data on the deportation of Ukrainian children. Just as they do not comment on their current location on the territory of the Russian Federation. It is significant that approximately 4.5 thousand deported Ukrainian children are orphans or lacking of parental care. The rest were forcibly separated from their parents and deported to the Russian Federation in foster families or orphanages. This process is still ongoing: Ukrainian children are taken to Russia under the pretext of medical care, evacuation from the zone of potential hostilities, etc.

The vast majority of Ukrainian children were taken to remote, economically backward regions of the Russian Federation – Siberia, the Far East. Ukrainian children often have their surnames changed in order to make it more difficult for them to return to Ukraine.

A terrorist state that has made kidnapping a part of state policy and thus seeks to improve its demographic situation should find itself in complete international isolation. Ukraine and the PACE will try to bring home every child.