15:45 05 May 2023

Russia plans to abduct children in occupied Zaporizhzhia region under the guise of "evacuation" – mayor of Melitopol

Photo: Telegram/Denisova

The Russian invaders pressed the residents of the temporarily occupied territory of the Zaporizhzhia region to "evacuate" to occupied Berdiansk and wanted to take out the children forcibly.

Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said on the Telegram messaging app that locals of Polohy, Tokmak, and Molochansk report that the Russian occupiers are urgently organizing the evacuation of the population to Berdiansk, calling it an "escalation on the line of hostilities." 

"It is alarming that once again they want to evacuate, including children forcibly," the official said.

According to him, "a similar panic" prevails among the invaders in Enerhodar, the location of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: "There, the occupiers ordered to take away children from kindergartens quickly."

According to Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, around 150,000 young Ukrainians might currently be in Russia, but only the deportation of 17,000 children has been officially confirmed. These are the children for whom detailed information has been collected, including their place of residence in Ukraine and their whereabouts in Russia.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian children's commissioner Lvova-Belova and Russian President Vladimir Putin as "allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation."

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