On June 12, 2014, in the city of Snizhne of Donetsk region, armed persons representing the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic abducted a group of 28 citizens of Ukraine, including 25 orphan children and tutors of family-type children’s homes who were headed for rehabilitation in Dnipropetrovsk region.
The perpetrators forced the bus at gunpoint to change the course and under the escort of armed persons directed the vehicle together with its passengers to Dolzhansky border checkpoint in Lugansk region in order to take them to the Russian Federation.
Later on, one of the accompanying persons with 9 children got off the bus at the crossing of the Ukrainian-Russian border; the other 18 were moved to Russia and currently are in Rostov region of the Russian Federation. As it became known, on Friday, June 13, 2014, the abductors are planning to move the children to Crimea, which continues to be illegally occupied by Russia.
These actions constitute a gross violation of international obligations by the Russian Federation with respect to the rights of children, as well as of international conventions, in particular, Articles 11 and 35 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Taking into account the absence of any permits for removal of children abroad, this allows qualifying the actions as an international kidnapping and illegal movement of children, with appropriate legal consequences for those who perpetrated, aided and abetted in this crime.
The position of the Russian Federation, which makes the Ukrainian children hostage to their political games, must receive an appropriate reaction of the international community.
UPDATE: all the children have been returned to Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian side strongly condemns all unscrupulous acts violating the rights of children. It is important to ensure that such acts are not repeated in the future.