In the course of the ongoing, full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the Russian occupiers continue to resort to unacceptable actions in violation of international law. The actions, in particular, include the illegal and forced movement of Ukrainian citizens, namely children, including orphans and children deprived of parental care, as well as children whose parents died as a result of Russia’s military aggression.

“The threat of illegal adoption of Ukrainian children by Russian citizens without compliance with all the necessary procedures set by Ukrainian law is flagrant,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stated.

The Ministry expressed particular concern about the information on the intention of Russia’s Education Ministry to sign “agreements” with the Russian occupation administrations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions – the so-called “LPR/DPR” – that would allow Russian families to adopt orphans illegally deported from Ukraine.

The diplomats underscore that in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, states that are parties to this international agreement, including Russia and Ukraine, are obliged to take measures to combat the illegal movement and non-return of children from abroad.

The Kremlin’s attempts to give its criminal actions in the territory of Ukraine “legal” grounds are a cynical disregard for the basic rules and customs of war and universally recognised human rights.

Such actions of the Russian occupiers can be qualified as kidnapping and require a decisive response from the international community, especially the relevant international organisations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine calls on the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and Violence against Children to take immediate measures to return Ukrainian children to the territory of our state.

Natalia Tolub

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