Ukraine’s UN ambassador said on Twitter on Wednesday that “Russian authorities have interrogated, detained and forcibly deported 19,500 children from Ukraine to Russia.”
Moscow said their children were removed for their own safety and that it is working to return those who have families or legal guardians in Ukraine. Lviv-Belova, who addressed the meeting by video, denied that any of the children had been formally adopted.
The United States, Britain and several other countries sent only junior ambassadors to the meeting, who stood and left the room when Lviv-Belova spoke. Before the session began, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters outside the council chamber, “We do not support. [U.N. webcasts] used by an individual to briefly let us know that he has committed crimes.”
“If he wants to give an account of his actions, he can be located in The Hague.” ICC, a spokesman from the British embassy said in a statement.
ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine
The meeting was the latest rally in Ukraine at the United Nations, which has become the main force for diplomatic meetings between Russia and the West. He was held under the so-called “Arria’s formula“allows any member to call a random meeting and decide who will be briefed.”
On Monday, Thomas-Greenfield said the assumption of Russia’s April 1 presidential plan, which rotates monthly in alphabetical order among its 15 members, “is like an April Fool’s joke.” Russia held the seat at the end of February last year. month, when the invasion of Ukraine began.
“We expect them to do their job,” he said. “But we also expect that they will use their seat to spread information and promote their agenda as it pertains to Ukraine and we will be ready to call out every moment that they are trying to do that.”
Russia has announced several other council sessions in Ukraine, including one on April 24, which will be chaired by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov — who also plans to hold another meeting in the Middle East the following day.
In a news conference Monday announcing his plans for the month, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Lavrov was open to a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken while he is in the United States, if “the secretary would like to have a meeting.” A State Department spokesman did not respond to questions about Blinken’s willingness to meet. The two spoke on the phone last weekend over US demands that Russia release Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested last week on newspaper charges.
Wall Street Journal reporter ‘wrongfully detained’ by Russia, Blinken says
Both the United States and Russia have used an informal format of the Security Council to call their positions on Ukraine, but all UN members must approve the live UN webcast sessions. Britain first objected and the United States joined their efforts.
Russia did not release the names of its shortlisted invitees until Tuesday evening. In a note sent to council members, he said the meeting was “intended to provide participants with objective information on the situation of children in the conflict zone in the Donbass as well as on plans by the Russian authorities to withdraw from danger. .
“The West’s mainstream media and delegations,” he said, deliberately distorted the situation by “kidnapping, forced displacement [and] by adoption. But the briefs would provide an opportunity to hear “first hand” about Lviv-Belova and some of their own children.
Nebenzia began the session, which Russia had broadcast on its YouTube channel, with videos depicting women it said were Ukrainian mothers who had lost custody of their children after resigning to what the ambassador specifically called “European slavery” from Kyiv during the war. into Germany, Spain, and Portugal. It was, he said, a “widespread practice” of Ukrainian forces removing children in combat zones whose families were “waiting for Russian soldiers to rescue them.”
The United States “cynically accused us of child abduction,” Nebenzia said without elaborating, announcing that the United States “in racist ways” removed over 2,500 children from Vietnam in 1975, allowed them to be adopted and later refused. leave “with his Vietnamese parents shows.”
In her presentation, Lvova-Belova showed prepared pictures of what she said were Ukrainian children in Russia – smiling, doing arts and crafts, playing games and happily hugging Russian guards.
“I hope we understand that these are true facts rather than rumors or fabricated accusations,” he said.
He added that Russia has “taken in” more than 5 million people from Ukraine and the Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and last year 700,000 of these children were legally annexed to Russia. All came with their parents or guardians, including two thousand who came from orphanages or children’s homes with their “guardians”. Decisions to evacuate them, he said, “were taken from the box.” [local] authorities because there are no safe places in the Donbas.”
To date, Lvova-Belova said, “about 1,300 orphanages have been returned”, while 400 were sent to Russian orphanages, because the areas that came from them were “fixed”, and 358 were “placed as foster homes”.
Orders for Russia to take children from Ukraine to Russia — illegal under international law, for whatever reason — began shortly after the Russian invasion began in February last year. In its statement on war crimes charges, the ICC said there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that both Putin and Lvova-Belova bear “individual criminal responsibility” for illegally deporting and transferring children.
Russia does not recognize the authority of the ICC, of which it is neither a member nor the United States. But they are able to warrant arrest in 123 countries that are parties to the Treaty of Rome under which it was established.
Reports that several thousand children were taken from the besieged city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine last year are false, he said. “They were not evacuated, but they were first transferred to a hospital” in Donetsk in the Donbas. Later, a group of 31 was sent to “the children’s senate of Moscow”. 22. Others, he says, were transferred to temporary custody.
Lviv-Belova said that when some Ukrainian children were given Russian citizenship, it was only to make it easier for them to receive services. All, he said, also retained Ukrainian citizenship and could decide at the age of 18 which nationality they wanted.
Responding to the Russian presentation, the French representative at the meeting called it “a canine exercise of disinformation”, saying that “the lie is a lie repeated thousands of times”. Lena Lviv-Belova… gave a completely false version of the situation. … These are war crimes.
One year of Russia’s war in Ukraine
Pictures of Ukraine: All of Ukraine’s life changed when Russia launched its full-scale invasion one year ago – in ways big and small. They learned to survive and support each other in extreme circumstances, in bombed out hospitals and hostels, destroyed building complexes and destroyed markets. A book through the photos of Ukrainians reflecting on a year of loss, resilience and fear.
Battle of attrition: In the past year, the war has evolved from a much-anticipated invasion of Kyiv in the north to a conflict of attrition largely concentrated along the stretch of territory to the east and south. Follow the 600-mile front line between the Ukrainian and Russian forces and see where the fighting took place.
A year of living apart; Russia’s invasion, combined with Ukraine’s martial law to prevent people of fighting-age from leaving the country, has forced millions of Ukrainian families to make decisions about how to find the equivalent of survival, employment and love, once their lives have become fraught. Here’s how I saw a train station full of goodbyes like last year.
The opening divides the global; President Biden has sounded the alarm that he has framed Western society as a “global coalition” between the wars, but a closer look suggests the world is far from united by the events sparked by Ukraine. According to the evidence, efforts to isolate Putin have failed and sanctions have not stopped Russia because of its oil and gas exports.