For almost a year, Russia has been kidnapping thousands of Ukrainian children and putting them up for adoption. This is apparently being promoted personally by the head of the Kremlin. Moscow also wants to cooperate with Chechen leader Kadyrov on programs for "difficult teenagers."
Russian President Vladimir Putin is apparently directly behind programs to kidnap and adopt Ukrainian children. This is what the Institute for the Study of War writes, referring to the Kremlin chief's recent meeting with the Russian Federation's Commissioner for Children's Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova.
Accordingly, Putin said on Thursday that the number of applications for adoption of children submitted by Russians from the annexed regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson is increasing significantly. According to Lvova-Belowa, Russian regional governors are facilitating adoption efforts. She also highlighted the efforts of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to work with her on programs for "difficult teenagers".
Lwowa-Belowa also pointed out that she herself had adopted a fifteen-year-old girl from Mariupol and explicitly thanked Putin. It is difficult, but "we definitely love each other". She also explained that she works in particular with Russian families to facilitate the placement of Ukrainian children in Russian homes.
According to the ISW, the Lvova-Belova-Putin meeting is also "notable because it suggests that Putin himself is overseeing and directing efforts to facilitate deportation and adoption programs." According to the ISW, this could constitute a violation of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. As the think tank further reports, back in early January, Putins ordered Lvova-Belova and the heads of the occupied territories to take a number of measures supposedly aimed at helping children in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
Kiev accuses Russia of kidnapping more than 16,000 children to Russia or Russian-controlled regions. At least 6,000 Ukrainian children have been taken to re-education camps, according to a report by the Yale Humanitarian Research Lab. Experts have identified 43 such camps in Russia and the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula alone. Four-month-old babies are said to have been taken to Russian camps, according to the study funded by the US State Department. The aim is therefore, among other things, "pro-Russian patriotic" and military-style education. In some cases, children received firearms training.
Yale researcher Nathaniel Raymond said the Russian actions constituted a "clear violation" of the Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilians in War and compared the Russian actions to kidnappings. In some cases it could be "a war crime and a crime against humanity".