Government Ukraine suspects kidnapping of several hundred thousand children


Eastern Europe


About 200,000 to 300,000 children have been abducted from Ukraine to Russia, government officials in Kyiv think. Photo AFP, Alexander Nemenov

The government of Ukraine has confirmation that 19,393 children have been kidnapped to Russia. But the actual number is reckoned to be much higher: it might be several hundred thousand.

Darya Gerasimchuk, an adviser to President Zelensky of Ukraine, reported this in an interview with Channel 24. She said all Ukraine data had been published on the information platform Children of War. The platform is updated every day.

The Russian troops take the children from the occupied, “liberated” areas to their home country. Officially the goal is to adopt them into a ‘decent’ family. But Ukraine sees this as an abduction of children.

The number of 19,393 children is deducted from a list of appeals to the National Information Bureau from parents, other relatives, witnesses, and local authorities who submitted a statement about deportation or forced transfer of a child, Gerasimchuk said.

However, this number is a tiny fraction of the real numbers. Gerasimchuk herself assesses that the Russians abducted 200,000 to 300,000 Ukrainian children.


The conflict in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea have led to many humanitarian problems. According to Slovo pro Slovo, child abduction is one of the biggest problems. Children get to kidnappers through various channels, the source says, from abduction directly from home to forging documents and inventing stories that the child was left without parental care.

Organisations that search for abducted children face difficulties in their work due to the complex political and legal situation in Ukraine and Russia. However, Gerasimchuk urges everyone who has any information about the abducted children to contact the National Information Bureau and search for the missing kids together.



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