UN: ‘Russia Deports Ukrainian Childen Is War Crime’

Friday, March 17, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

MOSCOW/KYIV (Worthy News) – United Nations investigators say Russia’s “forced deportation” of Ukrainian children to areas under its control amounts to a war crime after Christian missionaries expressed concerns about the plight of orphans.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said there was evidence of the illegal transfer of hundreds of Ukrainian children to Russia.

The Commission’s report states that Russia also committed other war crimes in Ukraine. They include attacks on hospitals, torture, rape, and willful killings.

Ukraine government figures put the number of children forcibly taken to Russia at 16,221

Russia has introduced policies such as granting Russian citizenship and placing children in foster families to “create a framework in which some of the children may end up remaining permanently” in Russia, the report noted.

The report came after Christian missionaries expressed concerns about thousands of “abandoned and unwanted children” in orphanages across Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet countries.

Michael Johnson, president of the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), said they are highly vulnerable to recruitment by organized crime groups.


“When children turn 18, they age out of the orphanages and have to fend for themselves,” Johnson said. “Thousands end up with nowhere to go, living on the streets, caught up in prostitution, drugs, and organized crime to survive. They’re prime recruiting targets for criminal gangs.”

His U.S.-based SGA, which works in the region, said this “alarming situation” can change if more orphanages open their doors to local church volunteers who are eager to “show abandoned children they’re loved and wanted.”

Missionaries said the orphanages are often “depressing places where children abandoned by drug-addicted and alcoholic parents, as well as other discarded children and orphans, cry themselves to sleep at night.”

Under-resourced orphanages house at least 600,000 children — kids who “think they’re ugly, they don’t matter, that no one loves them or wants them,” said Eric Mock, SGA’s vice president of ministry operations frequently visiting orphanages in the former Soviet countries. “They’re often angry as well.”

A staggering 84 percent of children in the orphanages will be there until their 18th birthday when they’re let loose — usually without any support, research showed.

Studies revealed more than 8 out of 10 end up involved in crime, drugs, or prostitution, sometimes leading to suicide, Johnson stressed.


“We believe only God can give them hope and turn their lives around before it’s too late,” he added. “It’s life-changing when local Christians visit the orphanages every week, showing them genuine compassion and love.”

SGA supports a network of more than 2,000 local evangelical churches across the region, including pastors and church members who visit local orphanages weekly to spend time with the children, listen to their problems, and pray with them.

“In effect, these hurting children are adopted into the local church family, receiving the care and support they need,” Mock added.

He said the outreach “brings hope” to more than 14,000 orphans and abandoned children across Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia.

That number was expected to rise, with many children reportedly being deported from Ukraine and many losing parents in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow has denied wrongdoing and claims it is defending the Russian minority in Ukraine against “a Nazi regime.”

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