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Official: Kidnapped Ukrainian children punished for refusing to sing Russian national anthem

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 10, 2023 12:17 AM 1 min read
Children receive toys brought to them by volunteers at the Lisovyi resort in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast on July 21, 2022. Dozens of children have been living at the resort for months, some without their parents. (Anastasiia Lapatina/The Kyiv Independent)
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Daria Herasymchuk, Ukrainian presidential advisor for children’s rights, said on April 9 that after returning to Ukraine from Russia, children complain of beatings and other punishments for refusing to sing the Russian anthem and for mentioning that they are Ukrainians.

As punishment, Ukrainian children were not allowed to go for walks and were forced to rewrite Russian texts, she added.

According to Herasymchuk, the children said they were told that their parents “abandoned” them and that they should not return to Ukraine, where “no one is waiting for them.”

The Russian supervisors at the facilities where they are held do “everything that their sick imagination and fantasy permits” she said.

According to a Ukrainian national database, over 19,000 children have been abducted to Russia since Russia’a all-out invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

NGO: 31 deported children returned to Ukraine
Ukraine has arranged the return of 31 more children that had been forcibly deported to Russia, Mykola Kuleba, head of the NGO Save Ukraine announced on April 8. The children are expected to arrive in Kyiv in the late afternoon.
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