Ombudsman: Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children could be deported to Russia

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children could be deported to Russia.

“We do not know the exact number [of Ukrainian children taken away] but, according to our data, we can assume that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children were forcibly deported,” Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, said during the nationwide news telethon, an Ukrinform correspondent.

Lubinets said that the Ukrainian authorities have already established the identity of more than 13,000 children deported to the Russian Federation, i.e., it is known where these children were taken from, where in the territory of the Russian Federation they stay now, what their status is, and what is happening to them.

When asked about children’s torture chambers discovered in the territories liberated from the Russian troops, the Ukrainian Ombudsman confirmed that the torture chambers were found in Kherson region.

“This information came precisely from our Office and from me personally. After the liberation of areas of Kherson region, I personally visited Kherson city, and we saw a torture chamber there, where, according to the testimony of people who had been held there, there was a separate cell for children. That’s what it was called: ‘children’s room’. It was no different from other cells, it was in a very cold and damp basement,” the official said.

The Commissioner clarified that the only difference between the children’s cell and other cells was that the Russians had thrown three sleeping pads in there, about as thick as cardboard, thus indicating that they held children there.

The Ukrainian Ombudsman also said that he had spoken with a 14-year-old boy, Vitaliy Mukharsky, who had been held in such a children’s torture chamber in Kherson for 10 days, and his uncle Oleksiy.

Lubinets stressed that the stories of Mukharsky about the conditions of detention can become evidence in court. “And they not just can, they will become. And now the Security Service of Ukraine documents the crime of child torture under the procedural guidance of the Prosecutor General’s Office,” Lubinets said.