UN Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi noted on January 28, 2023, that Russia violates fundamental principles of child protection in wartime by issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian children and giving them up for adoption to Russian families.
Source: UN Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi
“Giving them [Ukrainian children taken to Russia – ed.] (Russian) nationality or having them adopted goes against the fundamental principles of child protection in situations of war,” emphasized the UN Commissioner for Refugees.
According to Filippo Grandi, what is happening now in Russia “must not happen”.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees stated that his agency is currently unable to estimate the number of children who received passports or were given up for adoption because access to the Russian Federation is very limited.
“We are seeking access all the time, and access has been rather rare, sporadic and not unfettered,” added Filippo Grandi.
On January 25, 2023, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, during which, in particular, he drew the special attention of the UN High Commissioner to the issue of Ukrainians deported to Russia, including children. He called the forced change of citizenship from Ukrainian to Russian a “policy of genocide and captivity.”
Volodymyr Zelensky called for the creation of mechanisms for the protection and return of Ukrainian children and adults deported to the Russian Federation after the invasion of Ukraine.
See also: Russia took at least 6,000 Ukrainian children from temporarily occupied territories to annexed Crimea