Six Ukrainian children kidnapped during the invasion have now been reunited with their families outside

Six Ukrainian children kidnapped by Russia after the invasion of Ukraine were reunited with their families thanks to Qatari mediation. The Qatari authorities announced this.

The group of children between the ages of 8 and 15 is the second group to be repatriated as part of an agreement between the two countries. In October, four minors were able to return to their families.

Doha will continue to mediate between Moscow and Kiev to facilitate reunification. Qatar said: “It is a pleasure to make some families happy, especially with the end of the year celebrations approaching.”

Naom Kovalenko shakes hands with Ambassador Ahmed bin Nasser Al Thani. His mother Vladislava is watching. © Reuters

The children are still present at the Qatari embassy in Moscow. From there they leave for Kiev via Minsk. Qatari diplomats accompany them to the Ukrainian border. Some already have their mother by their side.

Son of a Ukrainian soldier

One of the children is the 11-year-old son of a Ukrainian soldier who remains detained in Russia. He will be taken care of by his aunt.

Ukrainian mother Tatyana Olizarovskaya with her son Naum Kovalenko.
Ukrainian mother Tatyana Olizarovskaya with her son Naum Kovalenko. © Reuters

Ukraine accuses Russia of deporting about 20,000 Ukrainian children to Russia. The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on charges of “illegal deportation” of thousands of Ukrainian children since February 2022. The Kremlin rejects these charges and claims it wants to protect children from fighting.

Denton Watson

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