1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Ukrainian Children - Stolen by Russia

February 16, 2024

Since the start of the war, Russia has abducted many thousands of Ukrainian children.

Dokumentation | Ukrainische Kinder - Von Russland entführt
Image: Arte

Some were told they were being sent on vacation, only to end up in Russia. Many of the children have yet to return.

The scale of abductions only became clear when the Ukrainian army began liberating Russian-occupied areas. Large numbers of children had apparently disappeared, victims of a criminal plan devised by Moscow. Russian forces had systematically scoured orphanages, maternity wards and children's hospitals, transferring Ukrainian children to Russia. Ukrainian families had also been instructed to send their children to supposed Russian vacation camps.

Once removed from Ukraine, aid organizations say, the children found themselves in an alien environment, separated from their language, culture, customs and religion. The children were housed in hospitals, children’s homes or foster families. They were assigned Russian passports, and many were forcibly adopted into Russian families. In the meantime, the International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued arrest warrants against President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, his commissioner for children's rights. Maria Lvova-Belova. They stand accused of arranging for the forcible deportation and transfer of children from Ukraine to Russia.

From Kyiv to Kherson, to Odesa and into Russia itself: this report follows the forcible transfer and ‘russification’ of Ukrainian children and youth. The investigation of this war crime includes testimony from affected families and children, as well as Ukrainian social workers and officials.


Broadcasting Hours: 

DW English

MON 19.02.2024 – 18:15 UTC
MON 19.02.2024 – 23:30 UTC
TUE 20.02.2024 – 03:30 UTC
TUE 20.02.2024 – 09:15 UTC
TUE 20.02.2024 – 12:15 UTC
TUE 20.02.2023 – 15:15 UTC
TUE 20.02.2024 – 21:15 UTC
WED 21.02.2024 – 07:30 UTC
WED 21.02.2024 – 10:30 UTC

Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3
Delhi UTC +5,5 | Bangkok UTC +7 | Hong Kong UTC +8
London UTC +0 | Berlin UTC +1 | Moscow UTC +3
San Francisco UTC -8 | Edmonton UTC -7 | New York UTC -5