Russia is set to respond to questions posed by various countries on the fate of forcibly deported Ukrainian children at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on Jan. 23.
The UN Committee seeks to determine how many children have been deported to Russia or within Russian-occupied territories, as well as what Russia has done to protect “the right of such children to preserve their identity, including nationality, name and family relations."
On Monday, posed questions to Russian UN representatives seeking justification for Russia's indiscriminate attack against Ukrainian children, which has thus far killed a confirmed 545 children and injured 964, according to the UN Office of Commissioner of Human Rights. The actual figure is likely to be substantially higher.
Since February 2022, nearly 20,000 Ukrainian children have been identified as abducted from Russian-occupied territories and sent to other Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine or to Russia itself, according to a Ukrainian national database on child abductees.
Ukraine has only been able to return about 400 children from Russia.
In March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, for allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia.
In its statement, the ICC writes that it believes Putin “bears individual criminal responsibility” as the leader of Russia for the crimes committed against Ukrainian children.