Tags: russia | ukraine | war | children | adoption

Russians Adopting Ukrainian Children War Refugees Over Objections

By    |   Saturday, 22 October 2022 02:39 PM EDT

Thousands of Ukrainian children fleeing the war zone are being seized and adopted out to "foster" families in Russia, The New York Times reported Saturday.

"I didn't want to go," the Times reported Anya, 14, who escaped a home for tuberculosis patients in Mariupol and is now with a foster family near Moscow, saying. "But nobody asked me."

Russian forces occupying the Ukrainian city of Mariupol reportedly grabbed children fleeing the war-torn city's boarding schools and group homes as they tried to pass through checkpoints and were sent on buses inside Russia where families are "adopting" them, according to the report.

The transplanted children are being welcomed as "Russian citizens" into their new homes by the state, who is claiming the children to be "abandoned" in the war.

According to the Times' report, this "systematic" resettlement of children is part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's plan to show the military action as "noble," casting the nation as a "savior" in its propaganda.

While neither Rusia nor Ukraine can provide accurate numbers of children transferred since the war began in February, Russian authorities announced in April that 2,000 children had arrived in Russia, mostly from group homes and orphanages, according to the report.

Russian Olga Druzhinina, who lives in the Siberian city of Salekhard told the Times that she has taken in four children ages 6 to 17.

"Our family is like a small Russia," Druzhinina said in an interview with the Times. "Russia took in four territories, and the Druzhinin family took in four children. We are not taking what is not ours."

According to the Times, some of the children were enticed to go to Russia voluntarily.

"They were promised a new, wonderful life," said Natalia, a foster mother from Mariupol. Her 15-year-old foster son agreed to go to Russia, she said in the report. "These are children of a difficult fate. They are easily deceived."

One 17-year-old transplanted to Russia told the Times their "new" country would provide them what they wanted and needed.

"We were told: 'If you need gadgets or clothes, just tell us. We will buy everything. If you want, you can just go and relax. We will show you Moscow,'" Timofey Chmel said. "'If your parents abandoned you, they do not need you. We will help you.'"

Putin has expedited turning the children into Russian citizens, welcoming the first group of new citizens in July, the Times reported.

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Thousands of Ukrainian children fleeing the war zone are being seized and adopted out to "foster" families in Russia, The New York Times reported Saturday.
russia, ukraine, war, children, adoption
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2022-39-22
Saturday, 22 October 2022 02:39 PM
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