Ukraine contacts over 2,000 children illegally removed by Russia - Commissioner

Ukraine contacts over 2,000 children illegally removed by Russia - Commissioner

More than 600 children illegally deported by Russia were returned to the Ukrainian-controlled territory, and over 2,000 children were contacted.

That’s according to Artur Dobroserdov, Commissioner for Persons Gone Missing Under Special Circumstances, who spoke in an exclusive comment to an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague.

"As part of cooperation with the National Information Bureau, we currently have reports on more than 23,000 children who were deported to the territory of the Russian Federation. So far, we have returned more than 600 such children to the territory under the control of the Ukrainian Government, and it was possible to establish contact with more than 2,000 children. At this time, the fate of nearly 21,000 children remains unclear," he said.

Read also: More than 380 cases of illegal “guardianship” established over Ukrainian children in Russia recorded

He also noted that "unfortunately, in view of the number of cases of deportation of children, we understand that not in every case is an application for a child search submitted to the National Police; accordingly, not in all cases is DNA taken from their close relatives."

According to the Commissioner, in the short term, it is planned to compare the list of children who have gone missing under special circumstances, which is at the Commissioner’s disposal, with the one at the disposal of the Ministry for Reintegration, "in order to identify all cases for which a report has not been filed with the National Police” to get the procedure for their search going.

“After that, we plan to search for close relatives or other family members of deported children in order to establish family ties and collect DNA samples. We really understand that quite often, Russia’s authorities change their last name, first name, patronymic, and other personal data, and grants them citizenship in order to sever close political and legal ties with Ukraine; destroy these children’s identity, as well as integrate them into Russian society."

As Ukrinform reported earlier, since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 2,000 Ukrainian children are considered missing under special circumstances.

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