Ukraine: News

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Oksana Grytsenko, James MarsonFollow, Stephen Kalin,

KYIV, Ukraine—Valeria Sydorova walked toward the Russian border post, her nerves steeled by the proximity of her goal: to get home. The 17-year-old had wiped her phone of anything the Russians might find suspicious, had traveled solo for hundreds of miles and was now within touching distance of Ukraine.

Agence France-Presse,

In Russia's Belgorod region, near the Ukrainian border, children are being evacuated by train after regional authorities announced 9,000 minors would be moved to other regions. The move follows weeks of deadly bombardment from Kyiv in the region, repeatedly targeted since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Polina Nikolskaya and Mari Saito - Reuters,

A teenage orphan who became a posterchild for Moscow's deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia said he was instructed by officials to recite pro-Russian talking points for television cameras and threatened with a beating when he complained about conditions.

UNICEF,

As the war in Ukraine enters its third year, the nation's children are feeling the overwhelming stress of displacement and life under the constant threat of attack. UNICEF and partners are working to protect children's mental health and provide psychosocial support to keep them healthy and preserve their hope for a brighter future.

Sean Boynton - Global News,

The most important phone call of Yevhen Mezhevyi’s life came in mid-June of 2022. His anxiety, fear and exhaustion at the time makes him fuzzy about the exact date. What he does remember is the sound of his son’s voice. Matvii was calling from Russia, where he and his two younger sisters had been forcibly deported nearly a month before — the same morning Mezhevyi, a single father and Ukrainian soldier from Mariupol, had been released without explanation after spending 45 days as a prisoner of war in a Russian penal colony in Donetsk oblast.

Zhanna Bezpiatchuk in Hroza - BBC Ukrainian,

Before the war, Dima led a normal life as a teenager. He lived with his parents, spent time with friends or on his phone, and sometimes bickered with his sisters. Now, standing in a cemetery on the outskirts of his village, Dima stares at the brightly coloured wreaths that cover the freshly dug graves of his parents and paternal grandparents.

Henrik Rothen - MSN,

In Moldova, a disturbing case has emerged involving the attempted sale of a Ukrainian infant to a Romanian couple, highlighting the dark underbelly of illegal adoption rings.

Leila Fadel - Morning Edition, NPR,

Ukraine says more than 19,000 children have been illegally taken by Russia since the war began. NPR's Leila Fadel speaks with two teenagers who were abducted from Ukraine.

Shaun Walker - The Guardian,

During the 14 months for which Veronika Vlasenko attended school in Russia, she was regularly told by teachers and fellow students that she would never be able to go home to Ukraine. “Every day they said to me that I would be staying here for ever and would never leave Russia,” she said. “They told me that Ukraine doesn’t exist, that it never existed, that we’re all Russians … At times the other kids would beat me for being pro-Ukrainian.”

Vladyslav Havrylov - Atlantic Council,

Ukrainian officials have condemned a new decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in early 2024 simplifying the process of conferring Russian citizenship on Ukrainian children abducted from wartime Ukraine.