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Governor: Teenager escapes Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 11, 2024 4:26 PM 2 min read
Schuman RoundaboutMembers from a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, Avaaz, light candels and lay toys on the ground in the , the center of the EU district in Brussels, Belgium, in protest against the Russian abduction of Ukrainian children on Feb. 24, 2023. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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A 16-year-old girl and her caretaker have escaped Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast to Ukrainian-controlled territory, Kherson Oblast Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported on Feb. 11.

"Life under occupation is filled with fear and horrors. This is evidenced by the story of a family who managed to return to Ukrainian-controlled territory," Prokudin wrote on Telegram.

"The grandmother-caretaker and her 16-year-old granddaughter couldn't leave because they feared passing through enemy checkpoints."

According to Prokudin, the family worked with various services for a long time to help them flee Russian occupation.

“So, I am pleased to welcome another child, another family, to the free land," he wrote.

According to official estimates, since the start of the full-scale invasion, Russia has abducted or forcibly displaced around 20,000 children from Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, although the actual number is likely much higher.

Almost 400 of them have been brought back to the Kyiv-controlled territory.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants in March 2023 for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's Commissioner for Children's Rights, on war crimes charges for their role in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children during the full-scale invasion.

‘It was hell.’ Mother speaks of rescuing her child from Russian captivity
On Oct. 8, Tetiana Bodak was busy organizing a funeral for her mother, who was killed by a Russian attack in then-occupied Kherson Oblast, when she got an unexpected and very emotional phone call from her son. “Mom, I’m in Oleshky (a Russian-occupied settlement in Kherson Oblast). On the way
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