Russia abducting Ukrainian children, putting up for adoption in Russia

In the latest development in a series of reported war crimes committed by Russian forces in their war with Ukraine, children are reportedly being abducted in plain sight and being displaced in Russia

 A woman and a child wait in a bus after fleeing from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania, March 1, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/STOYAN NENOV)
A woman and a child wait in a bus after fleeing from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania, March 1, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/STOYAN NENOV)

In the next wave of Russian action against Ukrainian civilians amidst war, children have become targets. 

In a recent press briefing with the US Department of Defense, it was revealed that Russian forces have been abducting children in Ukraine, whether by deliberately separating them from their parents or taking them from orphanages throughout the country. They are subsequently sent to Russia to be put up for adoption.

According to the US Department of Defense's EUR office as well as the US embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, Russian forces have been kidnapping children from their homes since July.

 “Reports indicate Russian authorities are deliberately separating Ukrainian children from their parents and abducting others from orphanages before putting them up for adoption inside Russia,” a representative from the US Department of Defense stated. 

The Russian government has been taking children out of their homes and placing them in adoptive homes in isolated regions of the country, primarily in the far eastern region of the country. This is the latest in a series of efforts from the Russian Federation to promote the use of human capital in conflict, using civilian targets in new ways far beyond physical violence.

 Children are seen with a cat at a temporary accommodation centre for evacuees during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine May 1, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO) Children are seen with a cat at a temporary accommodation centre for evacuees during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine May 1, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

As each day of the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, the human toll grows deeper. Recently, the Russian Federation has been forcibly drafting migrant workers, "illegal immigrants", and the homeless as part of the recent additional mobilization forces required. These efforts have pushed thousands of Russians to flee for protection.

Russia's continued war crimes

Beyond the deliberate targeting of civilians in the form of air strikes, mass murder in cities like Bucha, and others, world powers are pressing to hold Russia, more specifically Putin, responsible for their actions. ZMINA, a Ukrainian humanitarian rights agency, aims to identify key characteristics to officially deem Russia's actions as genocidal.

ZMINA project coordinator Nadia Dobrianska stated, "We argue that this is genocide." She acknowledged it was as a big statement that required a lot of proof, “But that's how we see it, because what is going on is mass extermination of Ukrainians on a systemic scale by Russians."

Dobrianska also explained that the mass killing and destruction of civilian objects on the large scale that has been witnessed and alleged in Ukraine is not justifiable by achieving military objectives.