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Yermak and Bloom discussed deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia

Mar 27, 2023

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak discussed the deportation of Ukrainian children to the Russian Federation with British theater and film actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom.

This is reported with reference to the Office of the President.


The meeting was also attended by a UNICEF team headed by Murat Shakhin, head of the UNICEF Representative Office in Ukraine.

Yermak thanked Bloom for his continued long-term support of Ukraine. He noted that the actor's current visit is another signal to the world of support for Ukraine, which is resisting full-scale Russian aggression.

Separately, the official noted the important mission of Bloom as a UNICEF ambassador for children.

"That is why we want to discuss with you a very important issue for us, the protection of Ukrainian children. I am talking about the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia. We are faced with a situation where in the twenty-first century there is no mechanism in the world – no organization – that knows or can overcome this problem," Yermak emphasized.

According to the Head of the Presidential Office, this problem covers different cases. Firstly, we are talking about children who were taken away from their parents by Russians and sent to the territory of Russia under the pretext of rehabilitation. These children are still being held there.

The second category of children are those whom Russia illegally takes from the occupied Ukrainian territories. The children have lost their parents but have relatives in Ukraine: grandparents, aunts or uncles, which is confirmed by documents. The invaders do not return the children to their relatives, but give them up for adoption in Russia.

The third category of children is the most difficult: these are little Ukrainians illegally taken to Russia from orphanages located in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

"President Volodymyr Zelensky and the team of the Office of the President are now working to return our children, including those who have no relatives. We can provide them with better living conditions than they have in Russia," Yermak said.
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Daria Gerasymchuk, Advisor to the Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights and Child Rehabilitation, said that the Ukrainian side has so far identified 16,207 children deported to Russia or Belarus or forcibly transferred to the occupied territories of Ukraine. Almost 200 of them are orphans and children deprived of parental care. At the same time, she said, there are several hundred thousand such illegally taken children, but their data cannot be established because Ukraine does not have access to the territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 27/03/2022

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