One hundred individuals were sanctioned by Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council on Nov. 18 for their involvement in the kidnapping and illegal deportation of Ukrainian children, including an alleged collaborator whom the Kyiv Independent identified in its investigative documentary film "Uprooted."
Forty Russian legal entities were also included in the sanctions list.
Svitlana Maiboroda, 53, is a former Ukrainian official who began to collaborate with Russian authorities after Russian forces invaded Donetsk Oblast in 2014. She currently works as the head of all social services for families and children in the Russian-occupied parts of the region.
The Kyiv Independent's documentary film "Uprooted," revealed how Russian occupation officials like Maiboroda prevented children in Russian-occupied Donetsk Oblast from being reunited with their legal guardians and were sent to Russia against their will. The Kyiv Independent received a list of 31 Ukrainian children that was deported as a group. Maiboroda facilitated their deportation.
In the documentary film, a journalist from the Kyiv Independent called Maiboroda and asked why she'd organized the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russian territory.
Maiboroda first denied any involvement but then said to put in an official information request. However, the Kyiv Independent is unable to send such requests to Ukrainian territories under Russian occupation.
The Ukrainian government organization Children of War estimates that at least 19,546 Ukrainian children have been kidnapped and forcibly taken, although the actual number is likely much higher.