A New York Times investigation has found that thousands of Ukrainian children have been transferred to Russia for adoption
Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, thousands of Ukrainian children have been transferred to Russia, where they were adopted before becoming Russian citizens, the US newspaper explains. The New York Times In an investigation.
The newspaper was able to speak to the children, their relatives and foster families. Russian state television regularly shows politicians handing out teddy bears to new arrivals, presented as abandoned children rescued from war by Moscow.
But he says mass displacement of children is a potential war crime The New York Times, whether these children are orphans or not. While many of them actually come from orphanages and homes, according to the daily, Russian and pro-Russian authorities have also taken children claimed by parents or legal guardians.
This policy of adoption responds to a comprehensive strategy aimed at treating Ukraine as an integral part of Russia and justifying the invasion of the country as a noble cause. The New York Times. The newspaper says that the Russian government is using particularly, and mainly, very sick, poor and vulnerable children in this way to serve its propaganda and present Russia as the savior.
Among the children interviewed in the article, 14-year-old Ania left a medical facility in Mariupol where she was being treated for tuberculosis. A bus supposed to take her to Zaporizhia was diverted to a Russian checkpoint before being sent to Donetsk, the eponymous capital of the administrative region occupied by the Russians since 2014, according to the children on board. Recently added through the Russian Federation. According to the US newspaper, the self-declared pro-Russian republic is at the heart of Mr Putin’s adoption policy.
On her flight, Anya couldn’t take out her sketchbook, in which she kept her mother’s phone number. She now lives with a host family near Moscow, who treat her well. Soon it will officially become Russian. “I don’t want to. My friends and family aren’t here.”The teenager, who communicated with the American journalist several times through messages and voice memos, regrets it.
The The New York Times He also met a resident of Salekhard in Siberia. She adopted four Ukrainian children between the ages of 6 and 17, all from Donetsk Oblast. “Our family is like a small Russia. Russia held four territories and [ma] Family, four children », she says. She awaits the arrival of the fifth Ukrainian, considering them all completely Russian: “We do not take what is not already ours. »
To convince older children, Moscow promises them an exceptional life in Russia, the American newspaper reports. “We were told, ‘If you need gadgets or clothes, let us know. We’ll buy them all from you. You can leave if you want.’ [vers la Russie] And relax. We will show you Moscow. If your parents abandoned you, it’s because they didn’t need you. We will help you” »Timofeï, 17 years old reports.
The exact number of children sent for adoption to Russia is unknown. Russian officials declined to comment The New York Times. Kyiv, for its part, does not keep exact numbers, but understands that these children number in the thousands. In April, Moscow announced that more than 2,000 children had arrived in Russia, most of them from orphanages and homes in the occupied territories since 2014.
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