Six Ukrainian children to return home with Qatar’s mediation – Reports


Russia handed over six children to Ukraine through Qatar, the Russian Telegram channel Astra reported on May 22. Kyiv has not yet commented on this information.

Read also: Six children escape occupied Kherson, reunite with families in Ukraine

The group of children handed over consists of six boys aged six to 17, including two brothers. They met with their families at the Qatari embassy in Moscow, according to the Russian media outlet.

Earlier, Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova said that Ukraine and Russia had agreed to exchange children. She claimed that representatives of the countries held talks in Doha. Lvova-Belova also claimed to have agreed "that 29 will go to Ukraine and 19 to Russia." However, Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said that Ukraine does not hold direct talks with the aggressor state on the return of illegally abducted children, and this is done only through the mediation of partners.

Abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia

Lubinets said during the fourth meeting of the Peace Formula advisors in Davos on Jan. 14 that Ukraine had returned 517 illegally abducted children and 2,828 adults from Russia, including only 150 civilians.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced on Feb. 2 that Canada and Ukraine would create a coalition to bring home abducted Ukrainian children. On March 8, the United States officially joined the coalition, and on April 27, Japan joined.

Read also: Over 2,000 children missing in Ukraine, nearly 20,000 deported to Russia – National Police

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Feb. 26 that no one can say for sure how many Ukrainians, including children, adult civilians, and military personnel, are being held in Russian captivity.

In total, according to the European Parliament, the number of Ukrainian children illegally abducted to Russia could reach 300,000. MEPs believe that Russians began taking Ukrainian children back in 2014, after the occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Lubinets said on April 25 that Ukraine had handed over to Qatar a list of names of 561 children illegally taken to Russia.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine