Home News 46 children were taken from Ukraine. Many of them are being adopted...

46 children were taken from Ukraine. Many of them are being adopted in Russia.


The “navigator” who ordered the children to be removed from the church had visited the foster home several times. He was later identified as Igor Kastyukevich, a member of the Russian parliament from Putin’s party, United Russia.

Anna Kuznetsova, deputy chairwoman of the Russian Parliament and Lvova-Belova’s predecessor as the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, came from Moscow to deliver baby products. Representing the Party“#We can’t abandon ourselves,” she wrote On Telegram, pro-war hashtags were used to suggest the children belonged to Russia.

In an interview with The Times, Russian officials echoed that sentiment, saying the children from Kherson were Russian.

In May, Mr. Putin fulfilled his promise to Ms. Lvova-Belova by issuing a presidential decree relaxing citizenship requirements: In Kherson and other occupied regions, Ukrainian caregivers can now apply for Russian citizenship on behalf of Ukrainian foster children and orphans.

The decree also speeds up the process so that children can become Russian citizens in 90 days or less, rather than up to five years.

The following month, Ms. Kornienko, the head of the foster home, was summoned to the Kherson Health Ministry, now run by the occupation authorities. A Russian-backed official asked her to continue as director but under his supervision. She was even given a Russian passport.

But Ms. Kornienko refused. She said she had had enough of the occupiers, who intimidated staff by asking them about their political views to test their loyalty and carried guns while monitoring children.

Dr. Lukina also resigned. She cared deeply about the children, but she did not want to be part of the actions being taken against them by Russian-backed officials.

“I don’t want to participate,” she said. “I’m worried they’ll take me away too.”

In their search for a new director, the occupation authorities approached Dr. Tetiana Zavalska, a pediatrician at the foster home who often worked night and weekend shifts. She expressed sympathy for the new occupation authorities and clearly expressed pro-Russian views.

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