A member of the Russian parliament has adopted a 10-month-old child that had been abducted from the Ukrainian city of Kherson, changing the child’s name and surname. Ukraine has appealed to international organisations to help bring the child back to Ukraine.
Source: Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) Dmytro Lubinets on Telegram
Quote: "Media have recently reported that Sergey Mironov, head of one of the Russian political parties, and his wife Irina Varlamova have ‘adopted’ a child who had been kidnapped from Ukraine.
The media reported that 10-month-old Marharyta Prokopenko was living in an orphanage in Kherson when the Russian army occupied the city. She was taken to Russia allegedly for ‘medical examinations and rehabilitation’.
The media say that the girl has eventually had her name and citizenship changed! Marharyta became Marina Mironova. It is also likely that a two-year-old boy, Illia Vashchenko, was also taken alongside Marharyta. His whereabouts are currently unknown."
Details: Lubinets stressed that this was the first documented occurrence when an abducted child had their name and surname changed.
Quote: "The woman who is the guardian of Marharyta’s sister appealed to me as the Ombudsman of Ukraine. She asked for help finding Marharyta and obtaining legal guardianship over her.
I would like to say that Marharyta has a six-year-old sister and a three-year-old brother. The six-year-old sister lives with her guardian, but nothing is known about her brother. Like Marharyta, he was in Kherson. The siblings were separated by the Russians."
Details: Lubinets stressed that the adoption of Ukrainian children in Russia is illegal. International laws stipulate that if non-Ukrainian citizens want to adopt a Ukrainian child, they have to officially notify Ukraine and obtain appropriate permission.
Lubinets has called for an international response to the Russian war crime and for help with bringing back the children abducted by Russia.
Quote: "In this particular instance, I appealed to our partners and international organisations to condemn forced abduction and adoption of the Ukrainian child, recognised this as a crime of genocide and helped bring Ukrainian children back home.
Silence and inaction in response to every crime provokes more crimes in the future."