The European Commission and Poland on Feb. 27 announced a joint initiative to find Ukrainian children illegally taken by the Russian army from occupied territories.
"Since the start of the invasion, it is estimated that Russian forces have sent thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. The abduction of Ukrainian children is a great social problem, a tragedy, and a crime," said Dana Spinant, deputy chief spokeswoman for the European Commission.
The initiative, which has the support of the United Nations, aims to collect evidence that will help them track down where in Russia these Ukrainian children were brought and to bring charges against those who abducted them.
On Feb. 22, Ukrainian children were forced to take part in Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's propaganda concert in Moscow.
Independent Russian media outlet Important Stories reported that two of the children were from Mariupol. Their mother was killed by Russian shelling at the start of the war.
Children of War, a website created by the Ukrainian government, estimates that 16,221 children have been abducted by Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion.