Russia uses more than 19.5 thousand deported Ukrainian children as a bargaining chip – expert

Today, Ukraine is aware of the illegal stay in Russia of more than 19.5 thousand Ukrainian children. Ekaterina Rashevskaya, expert of the Regional Center for Human Rights, said this on the air of the FREEDOM TV channel.

She noted that in Russia there are exactly twice as many orphans as in Ukraine, while the Russian Federation steals Ukrainian children.

“The duty of Ukraine is to return these children. This is not politics, this is not goodwill, these are obligations under our international agreements. Russia is well aware of this. This means that Ukraine will have to cooperate with Russia, perhaps not directly, and I’m sure it will not be directly, but we must return these children. This means that Russia may try to set conditions… They want to use the children as a bargaining chip, as a tool. They want to Russify them, they want to create for themselves some part of the loyal population here even after the end of the military conflict, ”said Rashevskaya.

The expert stated that there should be no conditions for the return of children abducted by Russia to Ukraine. In her opinion, the International Criminal Court is obliged to take into account, among other things, the use of children for their own benefit.

Rashevskaya stressed that this is a violation of international conventions, but there is a lack of decisive action on this issue, for example, there is no resolution at the level of the UN General Assembly yet.

“For example, we cannot begin to return even these 19,528 children that the Ukrainian government has already identified. Because the Russian Federation is refusing, because it is looking for some reasons of its own, setting its own conditions. If there was such a resolution, if the international community rallied as strongly as this entire mechanism of international criminal justice rallied, then the Russian Federation would be driven into a vise, ”the expert believes.

She also noted that Russia grants Russian citizenship to Ukrainian children and gives them up for adoption into Russian families. At the same time, adoptive parents in the process of adoption can change the personal data of the child, which makes it very difficult to identify him and it will be very difficult to return him to his homeland.

“Therefore, Russian documents are an additional problem, but also an additional crime of the Russian Federation itself and the perpetrators,” Rashevskaya said.

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