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NGO: 4 more Ukrainian children rescued from Russian occupation

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 2, 2024 3:54 PM 2 min read
Schuman RoundaboutMembers from a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, Avaaz, light candels and lay toys on the ground in the , the center of the EU district in Brussels, Belgium, in protest against the Russian abduction of Ukrainian children on Feb. 24, 2023. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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Save Ukraine, a Ukrainian humanitarian NGO, reported on Feb. 2 that it rescued four more children from Russian-occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

Since February 2022, the Ukrainian government has identified over 19,500 children as abducted from Russian-occupied territories and sent to Russia, Belarus, or other Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine. Only 388 of them have been able to return home.

Children from parts of Ukraine that were occupied by Russia during the full-scale invasion have often been separated from their families as a result of hostilities and the inability to safely cross into the Ukraine-controlled territory.

The four children rescued on Feb. 2 are now safe at one of Save Ukraine’s facilities. The youngest is not even a year old, according to the NGO.

Explainer: What we know about Russia’s deportation of Ukrainian children
In March, the International Criminal Court made a historic ruling: It issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia. The statement by ICC says that Putin is “allegedly respo…

A new rescue mission by Save Ukraine is currently underway. The organization said it has already brought back 235 Ukrainian children from Russia and occupied territories.

Earlier the same day, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly arrived in Kyiv to launch a joint initiative to return Ukrainian children deported or forcibly transferred by Russia, among other goals of the visit.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on Jan. 25 calling on European leaders to make all efforts to return Ukrainian children abducted by Russia home.

In March last year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin over their role in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children.

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