Russians post photos of abducted Ukrainian children on adoption websites - FT

Russians post photos of abducted Ukrainian children on adoption websites - FT

Photos and data of Ukrainian children who were abducted and taken to Russia in the first months of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 are posted on adoption websites by the occupiers.

According to Ukrinform, this is stated in an investigation by the Financial Times, which used facial recognition technology, public data, and interviews with Ukrainian officials and relatives of the children themselves.

The journalists identified and located four Ukrainian children on an adoption website linked to the Russian government,

One child is pictured with a new Russian name and age, which differ from those listed in their Ukrainian state documents.

Another child is depicted with a Russian version of a Ukrainian name. However, there is no indication of the Ukrainian origin of any of the children.

The children were abducted by Russians from state-run orphanages and separated from their guardians and relatives in cities in southern and eastern Ukraine that fell under the control of the Russian army in 2022.

These are children aged eight to 15.

It is noted that the children, who were found by FT journalists, whose identities have been confirmed by the Ukrainian authorities, together with their families, ended up in the Tula region near Moscow and in the Orenburg region near the Kazakh border. One child was taken to the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Another 17 children found by journalists on a Russian adoption website were confirmed in a recent New York Times investigation. All of them are from an orphanage in Kherson.

Read also: Coalition to return Ukrainian children already includes 37 countries - Zelenska

Ukrainian authorities estimate that almost 20,000 children have been forcibly transferred from the temporarily occupied territories to Russia since the start of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Many thousands of minors are still missing.

As reported by Ukrinform, on 17 March 2023, judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children's Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova, who are suspected of war crimes in the form of illegal deportations and transfers of people, including children, from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine since at least 24 February 2022.

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