Russia doing everything to ensure that deported Ukrainian children never return – Ombudsperson

22.02.2023 16:20

Moscow has been preventing Ukrainian children, relocated to Russia, from being returned to their home country.

This was stated by the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets, who spoke on 1+1 TV, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“Russia is doing everything to prevent Ukrainian children from being returned (home – ed.). Russia’s top leadership has been taking part in the process of children’s deportation. President Putin’s representative for the children, Lvova-Belova, officially puts it up on social media, bragging about how many children she took away,” the Ombudsman said.

According to Lubinets, every return of a child, family, or adult equals to a special operation.

“They don’t even provide information about civilians. And the official number of Ukrainian citizens who personally appealed to me, from among civilian hostages, is more than 20,000,” the official informed.

The Ombudsman explained what rules should be followed if someone is threatened with deportation or if their family is at such risk.

“The first thing I would recommend is to make copies of all documents with your mobile phone. Secondly, remove from your phone all photos, information, and contacts that could point to your pro-Ukrainian stance. For example, people may be subjected to torture simply for having in their phonebook a contact like ‘Volunteer Mykhailo,’” he said.

Lubinets clarified that citizens should then try to reach out to the bodies able to help them get information – the Ministry for Reintegration or Commissioner for the Search for Missing Persons, under special circumstances.

Citizens can also contact the Ombudsman’s Office hotline: 0800-50-17-20.

“If you want to leave Russia, don’t tell anyone about it. Say: ‘I like it so much, I want to stay in Russia.’ Then they will monitor you not so thoroughly,” the official suggested.

Separately, the Commissioner for Human Rights specified that too much activity in social networks regarding a deported person is in fact harmful.

“That’s especially when someone launches some kind of flash mobs about a specific person. Then Russia understands that this is a publicly significant figure, and they will do everything to prevent them from leaving,” he said.

As reported, Lubinets said that the process of liberating deported Ukrainian civilians is currently not frozen, but some initiatives cannot be discussed publicly.


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