Putin's Commissioner for "children's rights", Maria Lvova-Belova, organised in person child abduction from orphanages in Donbass. And she personally "adopted" a teenager from Mariupol.
Child rescue alert. As Ukrainian forces are making headway in liberating the Kharkiv region, Russia is continuing its policy of deporting civilians. On September 8, the Russian military administration (ROV) forced the villagers of Velikiy Burluk onto two large 56-seater buses, to be "evacuated" to Russia. Mothers who refused were threatened with their children’s forcible removal and adoption in Russia. Before long, they reluctantly boarded the buses for an unknown destination across the border.
By the very admission of Russian authorities, more than 3.4 million civilians have already been "evacuated" since February 24; among these civilians, more than 550,000 are children. After the recent Human Rights Watch report on filtration camps and deportation of civilians, after the Ukrainian authorities put online a platform which lists - as of September 9 - 7,240 cases of deported children and 239 "disappeared", and after the launch of an international petition, "Save the Ukrainian children deported to Russia" which collected, in one week, more than 55,000 signatures, the subject bounced back this week at the United Nations.
“There have been credible allegations of forced transfers of unaccompanied children to Russian occupied territory, or to the Russian Federation itself”, Ilze Brands Kehris, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, told the Security Council Open Meeting on Ukraine on Wednesday 7 September. “We are concerned that the Russian authorities have adopted a simplified procedure to grant Russian citizenship to children without parental care, and that these children would be eligible for adoption by Russian families”, she added.
Unsurprisingly, the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, rejected all these "unfounded" accusations, which he described as a "legend". We're getting used to it. The bombing of the Mariupol maternity hospital? The work of the Ukrainians themselves. The Butcha slaughter? A staged event by the British intelligence services. The Olenivka prison massacre? Again, the Ukrainians deliberately killing their own fighters. The same goes for the Zaporizhia power plant, where Ukrainian shells have displayed the astonishing ability to reverse their trajectory at the very last moment, merely to fool the IAEA inspectors into believing that they were fired from Russian positions.
The Russian empire, with Vladimir Putin at its helm, has essentially become an empire of cynicism, denial and lies. So, the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia would just be a "legend", yet another Western gossip? Vasily Alexievich Nebenzia would be well advised to read the press … of his own country. For, in the end, nothing is hidden.
Admittedly, when a regional institution (that of Krasnodar, in the south of Russia) auctioned 300 toddlers from Mariupol up for immediate adoption, congratulating itself on having already sent a thousand to the four corners of Russia, the announcement was promptly withdrawn from the Internet, where it had caused quite a stir. But what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh. The Putinists are so proud of "denazifying" Ukraine and "russifying" its inhabitants, that they willingly communicate their "feats” (read HERE)
But in this genocidal enterprise of forced russification, children are a prime prey. And, in particular, orphans.
This is where Maria Lvova-Belova comes in. This 38-year-old “charitable” soul - married to a computer programmer, Pavel Kogelman, who went down the path of Orthodox priesthood -, has herself become a prominent bigot after her rather bohemian, pop culture-infused youth. She has invested in several charitable actions (including a boarding house for severely handicapped young people in Penza, plagued with rumours of benefit fraud) while being elected to the Duma for the Penza region, 650 kilometres south-east of Moscow, under the banner of United Russia (Putin's party).
By the grace of Saint Vladimir (Putin), Maria Lvova-Belova was appointed last November as Commissioner for Children's Rights to the President of the Russian Federation. In other words, Putin's advisor for the so-called "rights of the child".
It is in this capacity that our Maria Lvova-Belova has taken the fate of the poor children of Donbass to heart. Back in April, she organised a meeting in Aprevevka, on the outskirts of Moscow, with the governor of the Moscow region, Andrei Vorobyov, for the "temporary guardianship" (pending adoption) of the first 27 children transferred by train from the Donbass region. Eleonora Fedorenko, the "children's rights adviser" of the self-proclaimed "Republic of Luhansk", played matchmaker (read HERE in Russian).
On May 30, Vladimir Putin's signature granting Russian citizenship to Donbass orphans and children "deprived of parental care" greatly facilitated this child trafficking network, organised at the highest level of the Russian Federation.
Although it is not possible, at this stage, to establish a complete record of the convoys deporting children, it can at least be ascertained, on the basis of Maria Lvova-Belova's own confidences, that about a hundred children arrived in Moscow and have already been adopted in six different regions of Russia: Moscow, but also in Tula (on the banks of the Upa river, 170 km south of Moscow), Kaluga (in central Russia), Voronezh (465 km south-east of Moscow) and... in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, in Asian Russia, in the Arctic region!
"We must pay tribute to our wonderful Russian families, who, already having a few children of their own, have selflessly started to adopt children," Maria Lvova-Belova said in mid-July. She had the nerve to add that these orphans had themselves "chosen their own foster families". And with what a sense of humanism these placements are carried out! "Some of the children are related to each other and form family groups of five or six people. Such orphans could not be divided, so we had to go to great lengths to find foster parents for these children". And citing, as an example, "Tatyana and Dmitriy, residents of the Moscow region, [who] took in nine orphans from Donbass, all brothers and sisters”. “The little refugees were welcomed at the train station by their new adoptive parents and by the Deputy Minister of Social Development of the Moscow Region, Darya Romanova," she added (read HERE, in Russian).
As reported in the Russian press on July 13 (read HERE in Russian), these 108 children, aged between 5 and 16, were "removed the day before directly from children's institutions in Donetsk, Shakhtyorsk and Makeyevka by Maria Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights, with the help of the Russian Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Defense." The children were immediately granted Russian citizenship. "Now they are ours," said Elena Zaitseva, head of the Department of Guardianship and Protection of Minors in the Moscow Department of Labour and Social Protection, in the same article. She precised she made a special trip to Rostov-on-Don and Kursk to select these children...
Whether the Russian ambassador to the United Nations admits it or not, the Russian Federation has definitely set up an organised child trafficking network with the complicity of regional governors. As for the very charitable Maria Lvova-Belova, she was personally engrossed in it, as she recounts in an interview granted to Readovka (read HERE in Russian).
While she and her priestly husband already have five natural children and four adopted ones, the family has been enlarged by a 16-year-old boy, Philip, "levied" from a boarding school in Mariupol. When she saw Philip, she said, "my heart went pitter patter".
Obviously, when the heart is so rattled, the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (which prohibits the transfer of children from the territory of hostilities to the territory of an aggressor State), does not stand a chance.