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NGO Save Ukraine rescues 13 more children from Russian occupation

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 12, 2023 9:43 PM 2 min read
A screenshot from a video presumably showing a family member holding one of the children returned from Russian-occupied territories by the NGO Save Ukraine on Sept. 12, 2023. (Save Ukraine/Facebook)
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The NGO Save Ukraine has arranged the return of 13 more children from occupied parts of Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts to their relatives in the Kyiv-controlled territory.

The 11th rescue mission brings the total number of children returned by the organization to 176, Save Ukraine reported on Sept. 12.

The NGO revealed some details of the children’s stories in its Facebook post.

“Mother hid Olesia from the occupation authorities and other residents for a whole year so that no one would find out that the girl lived with her and force her to study at a Russian school,” the organization wrote.

“The divorced parents of Polina, Taras, and Matvii took different positions after the start of the full-scale war — mom was supporting Ukraine while dad became pro-Russian. And it was the father who banned the mother from taking the children out of Russian-controlled territory," reads another story.

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…

"There, during the occupation, children were forced to go to a Russian school, and they (occupation authorities) threatened to deprive their mother of her parental rights.”

Save Ukraine has helped people fleeing war zones since 2014. Over the past year, it launched a program to return children forcibly transferred by Russia back to Ukraine.

More than 19,500 children have been identified by the Ukrainian government as having been deported. Almost 400 of them have been brought back to Ukraine.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova and Russian President Vladimir Putin for their involvement in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children during Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

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Norwegian foreign minister visits Odesa.

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