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Russian forces kidnap children from Zaporizhzhia, transport them to Chuvash Republic

by Haley Zehrung June 28, 2023 5:14 AM 1 min read
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The administration of Russian-occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast has been taking local children to Russia under the guise of 'vacation,' while actually kidnapping them from their homes and not returning them, Ukraine's Center for National Resistance said on June 26.

Around 300 children are set to be taken to the Chuvash Republic in western Russia from Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and are unlikely to be returned due to the declaration of martial law in the occupied regions, which has been in effect since fall 2022.

The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) concluded in their April report that forcibly deported Ukrainian children had been subjected to “numerous and overlapping violations” of their rights.

The report highlighted that forcibly deported children were placed in an unfamiliar environment far removed from Ukrainian language, culture, customs, and religion. It also found that many such children were exposed to military training and “to pro-Russian information campaigns often amounting to targeted reeducation.

Over 19,000 children have been abducted by Russia since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, according to Ukrainian national database Children of War. Thousands are unaccounted for.

Ukraine has so far managed to return 373 Ukrainian children deported by Russia, and the process is ongoing.

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