Child abductions in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia has forcibly transferred thousands of Ukrainian children to areas under its control, assigned them Russian citizenship, forcibly adopted them into Russian families, and created obstacles for their reunification with their parents and homeland.[3] Evidence of this has been collected during investigations conducted by several international organizations and groups, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, The International Criminal Court and Amnesty International, and by journalists for media outlets such as The Observer.[4] The United Nations has stated that these deportations constitute war crimes.[3][5] The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for President Vladimir Putin (who has explicitly supported the forced adoptions, including by enacting legislation to facilitate them)[6] and Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for their alleged involvement.[7] According to international law, including the 1948 Genocide Convention, such acts constitute genocide if done with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation or ethnic group.[8][lower-alpha 1]

Child abductions in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
LocationRussian-occupied territories of Ukraine
Date24 February 2022 (2022-02-24)  present
TargetUkrainian children
Attack type
Deaths464 as of 21 March 2023[1]
Victims16,000[1]  307,000[2]
LitigationInternational Criminal Court arrest warrants for Putin and Lvova-Belova

Ukrainian children have been abducted by the Russian state after their parents had been arrested by Russian occupation authorities or killed in the invasion,[9] or after becoming separated from their parents in an active war zone.[10] Children have also been abducted from Ukrainian state institutions in occupied areas, and through children's "summer camps" on Russian territory.[9] The abducted children have been subject to Russification;[6][10] raising children of war in a foreign nation and culture may constitute an act of genocide if intended to erase their national identity.[6]

Estimates of the number of children involved range from 16,000[1] to over 300,000.[2] The Office of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General said in December 2022 that nearly 800 had died or disappeared during the process of deportation.[1][failed verification]

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