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17-Year-Old Ukrainian Girl Returns Home After Unlawful Deportation to Russia

The Ukrainian Ministry of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories reported on April 19 that a 17-year-old Ukrainian girl named Myroslava has returned home after being unlawfully deported to Russia a year and a half ago.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, at least 19,500 children have been officially recognized as abducted by Russia. Out of this number, less than 400 have managed to return home, as per data from the Ukrainian government.

Myroslava, who became an orphan in 2014, was forced to relocate to Russia from Ukraine’s Russian-occupied territories in 2022 following the onset of Russia’s full-scale war.

The Ministry of Reintegration expressed gratitude to the individuals who alerted Ukrainian authorities about Myroslava’s whereabouts, facilitating her repatriation in collaboration with the Ukrainian Child Rights Network.

“We maintained continuous contact with her throughout,” the statement affirmed. “After four challenging days of travel, she has finally returned to Ukraine.”

Additionally, the Ministry extended appreciation to various entities, including Daria Herasymchuk, Ukraine’s presidential advisor for children’s rights, and Daria Kasyanova, the head of the Ukrainian Child Rights Network, along with several diplomatic and administrative bodies involved in facilitating Myroslava’s return.

report published in the Guardian on February 4 revealed that Ukrainian children forcibly deported to Russia are subjected to systematic re-education efforts by Russian authorities.

In March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging their involvement in overseeing the forced deportations of at least 19,500 Ukrainian children to Russia.

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