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.