161 Ukrainian Children Abducted by Russia Found in Germany

Ukrainian law enforcers have found 161 Ukrainian children in Germany – they were all abducted and deported to Russia or Belarus. Ivan Vyhivskyi, the head of the National Police of Ukraine, made this announcement during a meeting in Berlin with Holger Münch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Department of Germany.

Collaborative Efforts in Law Enforcement

The location of these children was made possible through collaborative efforts between Ukrainian law enforcement and their German counterparts.

“Thanks to our cooperation with the law enforcement agencies of the Federal Republic of Germany in documenting war crimes committed by the Russian Federation, namely the deportation and forced transfer of Ukrainian children, we have established the whereabouts in Germany of 161 Ukrainian children who had been forcibly transferred to temporarily occupied territories or deported to the Russian Federation and Belarus,” Vyhivskyi stated.

Enhanced European Collaboration

The head of the National Police of Ukraine also drew attention to the problem of all war crimes committed by Russian invaders on the territory of Ukraine and documented by the National Police of Ukraine. During the discussions, Vyhivskyi highlighted Kyiv’s commitment to bringing Russian war criminals to justice, both in Ukrainian courts and internationally. This includes efforts to hold accountable military-political leadership through the ICC and special tribunals.

The meeting also addressed the role of European partners in supporting Ukraine, particularly in integrating information on Russian war criminals into the Schengen Information System (SIS). This system is crucial for maintaining security across European borders by sharing data on security threats among member countries.

He also drew attention to such an instrument of hybrid warfare used by Russia as organized crime, including “thieves in law.” Russia uses it both in Ukraine and in Germany. The head of the National Police acknowledged that the increase in the number of Ukrainian citizens in Germany has led to an increase in the number of individuals involved in illegal activities, including illegal migrant smuggling.

Child abductions in the Russo-Ukrainian War

During the Russo-Ukrainian War,  Russia has forcibly transferred almost 20 thousand Ukrainian children to areas under its control, assigned them Russian citizenship, forcibly adopted them into Russian families, and created obstacles for their reunification with their parents and homeland.

In April 2023, the Council of Europe deemed the forced transfers of children as constituting an act of genocide in with an overwhelming majority of 87 in favour of the resolution to 1 against and 1 abstaining.

All the liberated Ukrainian children need a lot of help, not only psychological support, but also financial and material support for them and their families, who have suffered greatly from Russian aggression. This is where the EU could really help.

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