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.
Originally, Save Ukraine planned on rescuing 33 children but an elderly woman who was supposed to accompany two of them died before she was able to do so.
Over 19,000 children were abducted to Russia, according to a Ukrainian national database, while thousands remain not accounted for.
On March 17, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia.
In previous interviews, children described being used as political props at rallies and difficult conditions in the places they were being kept.
Save Ukraine has helped people fleeing war zones since 2014. Over the past year, it launched a program to return taken children back to Ukraine. Over the past year, the NGO said it rescued 95 children.