Russian Children's Ombudswoman ‘adopts’ child from Donbass


Eastern Europe


Maria Lvova-Belova with children who were evacuated from the Kherson region. Photo Telegram, Maria Lvova-Belova

Maria Lvova-Belova, the children’s Ombudswoman from Russia, has adopted a 15-year-old boy from Donbas, a Russian-occupied region in Ukraine.

Lvova-Belova announced so proudly in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier, she wrote on her Telegram channel that her now adopted son, Philip, first longed to return to Ukraine but now appreciates his ‘new home’.

The Children’s Ombudswoman is closely involved in removing Ukrainian children from the Russian-occupied regions. She leads the policies that organise the deportations of Ukrainian children and integrate them into Russian families for “patriotic education.” That is also why the United States placed her on a sanctions list, IRP News reports.

Lvova-Belova also told Putin that she was happy with his decision to simplify the procedure of receiving citizenship for children from annexed Ukrainian regions. Recently, the Russian President ordered that guardians, trustees and teachers may apply for Russian citizenship for these children.


Russia’s policy of taking children from Ukraine to Russia is very controversial. Last week, a study from Yale University showed that Russia holds at least 6,000 children in re-education camps to Russify them. According to the researchers, there are at least 43 of these facilities.

The policy of taking children and re-educating them could even be seen as a genocidal act, researcher Nathaniel Raymond said during the presentation of the report. The transfer of children to change or destroy national identity is forbidden by international law.

Some Ukrainian children were eventually transferred from the re-education camp to a foster or adoptive family. However, not all of them are real orphans. Sometimes, their family in Ukraine is still alive.



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