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Ukrainska Pravda identifies the overseers of abduction of Ukrainian children

Wednesday, 3 May 2023, 12:01
Ukrainska Pravda identifies the overseers of abduction of Ukrainian children
Stock photo from website KrymSOS

Ukrainska Pravda has identified the people involved in the abduction and re-education of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Source: Ukrainska Pravda

Details: In addition to Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights, the "children's services" of the Russian-occupied territories, "children's commissioners" and "ministries of education, youth and sports" are involved in the "re-education" of Ukrainian children.


In Crimea, Ukrainian Valentyna Lavryk is the head of these "education agencies"; in the so-called "Donetsk People’s Republic" ("DPR"), her counterpart is Olha Kaludarova; in the so-called "Luhansk People’s Republic" ("LPR") it is Ivan Kusov; in the occupied part of Kherson Oblast, Mykhailo Rodikov; and in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Olena Shapurova. The children's service in the "DPR" is headed by Svitlana Maiboroda, and in Crimea, Anastasiia Omelchenko is in charge.

The "ministries of youth and sports" of the occupied territories are headed by Oleksandr Hromakov, Dmytro Sydorov, Elvira Vitrenko and Anton Tytskyi respectively. The children's commissioner for occupied Crimea is Iryna Kliuieva, in the "DPR" it is Daria Morozova, and in the "LPR", Inna Shvenk.

The "ministries of social policy and labour" are also indirectly involved in the abduction of children, as they were the agencies who paid child benefits to parents in the occupied territories last year.

In the "DPR", the Ministry of Social Policy is headed by Denys Strelchenko, in the "LPR" by Svitlana Malakhova; in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Yevhenii Markelov chairs the authority; in Kherson Oblast, Alla Barkhatnova, and in Crimea, Olena Romanovska. In Russia, Anton Kotyakov is the Minister of Social Policy.

In Putin's administration, Irina Pleshcheva, a former representative of Rosmolodezh (the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs – ed.), is in charge of "children's education".

This process would not be possible without the assistance of the heads of the occupation administrations of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia: Sergey Aksyonov, Leonid Pasichnyk, Denys Pushylin, Volodymyr Saldo and Yevhen Balytskyi.

There are also so-called philanthropists who take an interest in the issue of children in the occupied territories, such as the Russian Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev. He and his St Basil the Great Foundation co-founded the Happy Childhood project. In 2014, he financed Russian armed gangs in Donbas like those led by former Russian intelligence officer Igor Girkin.

The foundation established by Aimana Kadyrova, the mother of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, also regularly reports on its help for Ukrainian children. With the assistance of Kadyrov and Lvova-Belova, a camp was set up near Grozny to "re-educate children from the new territories of the Russian Federation". Those who actively oppose attempts at Russification are sent there.



  • In March 2023, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova for the deportation of Ukrainian children from occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia.
  • Lvova-Belova claimed publicly that Filip, a teenage boy from the temporarily occupied city of Mariupol whom she had "adopted", had been influenced by Ukrainian "propaganda", but in spite of that, he already calls her "mum".
  • Russian secret services stopped a child from Mariupol who was on his way back to his homeland at the border with Belarus.
  • Daria Herasymchuk, Ukrainian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights and Child Rehabilitation, stated that in Russia, abducted Ukrainian children face bullying and even physical violence on the grounds of their ethnicity.
  • Russian invaders are trying to re-educate Ukrainian children. For example, in Mariupol, the occupiers force students to line up, listen to the terrorist state’s national anthem and raise the Russian flag.

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