Bring back the children stolen by Putin

13.03.2024 10:57

Bring back the children stolen by Putin

Ukrainian children

The EPP Group urges the EU institutions and Member States to do whatever it takes to bring back the Ukrainian children who have been abducted or forced to leave Ukraine for Russia by Putin‘s henchmen. The EU should also help to settle and rehabilitate those who have returned. 

“At least 20,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly deported to Russia or relocated to Belarus. We urge the EU and international humanitarian organisations not only to condemn the forcible deportations and treat them as part of Russia's genocidal policy but also to step up their efforts to bring these children back to their families and ensure that they receive appropriate care,” insists Michaela Šojdrová MEP, who initiated today’s debate on the need for the EU to urgently address the concerns of Ukrainian children forcibly deported to Russia. 

According to the available data, Ukraine has been able to identify 19,546 forcibly deported Ukrainian children, 400 of whom Ukraine has managed to bring back. Their stay in the territories of Russia, Belarus and the temporarily occupied territories comes with unjustified restrictions and punishments. Children are forbidden to speak Ukrainian and are forced to sing the Russian anthem, take revised history lessons, join paramilitary youth organisations or even register in conscription centres.

“Deportation or forcible displacement is a war crime. By deporting children, Russia is committing genocide and trying to deprive Ukraine of its future, just as it did during the worst Stalinist purges.We Europeans were loud in saying “never again”. Let’s say it here too. We should set up a dedicated team and a sustainable well-funded plan to help Ukraine to identify, return and rehabilitate deported Ukrainian children," adds Rasa Juknevičienė MEP, Vice-Chair of the EPP Group in charge of Foreign Affairs.  

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

Other related content