Russian sources and deputy officials publicly advertise the kidnapping and forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families. Prominent Russian military bloggers have published a multi-part documentary series that has been circulating since November 9 and is now becoming increasingly popular. It shows Ukrainian children from the Donbass being “adopted” by Russian families. This is reported by the Institute for the Study of War. Around 150,000 children are said to be affected, according to Russian information. Striking: the Ukrainian side speaks of “only” about 7000 children.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, also known as Putin’s “bloodhound,” also said he is working with the Russian Federation’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova to help “difficult youth” from various Russian regions and the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions to Chechnya to do “preventive work” and “military-patriotic education,” according to ISW experts, who assume it is a “depopulation campaign” and constitutes “extensive ethnic cleansing.”
Zelenskyy called for the involvement of Ukrainian specialists in the investigations to clarify the incident. “All our information is fully available. We gave them to our partners from the night, from the first hours, when the world began to find out what happened,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address. At the same time, Ukrainian experts need access to the information collected on the ground.
After the rocket hit Poland, Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged prudence. That was necessary in view of such a war, said the SPD politician in the evening on the ZDf “heute journal”. It is therefore important to do everything possible to ensure that Ukraine is supported on the one hand, but at the same time to prevent an escalation into a war between NATO and Russia. Scholz rated the G20 summit declaration on nuclear weapons as a great success.
The US government sees responsibility for the deadly missile strike in Poland ultimately with Russia – even if it should be confirmed that the explosion was caused by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile. “The world knows that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for this incident,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in Washington.
“Ukraine had – and has – every right to defend itself,” said a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. Russia is responsible because it has launched masses of missiles, particularly at Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock argued similarly. “These people would not have died if there hadn’t been this brutal Russian war of aggression,” said Baerbock after her arrival at the world climate conference in Egypt.
US Chief of Staff Mark Milley tried in vain to contact his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov after the missile hit Poland. All efforts by his staff to reach the chief of staff have been unsuccessful, Milley said in Washington. However, he was able to speak several times with the Ukrainian army chief Valery Saluschnyj and other European generals.
In Ukraine, meanwhile, parliament extended martial law and mobilization of the army for a further 90 days. The two measures will initially apply until February 19, 2023, local media reported. Many experts see the duration of the state of war as an indicator of how long Kyiv is currently preparing for fighting.
That will be important on Thursday
More than eight years after the downing of passenger flight MH17 that killed 298 people, a criminal court in the Netherlands will announce its verdict on four suspected perpetrators on Thursday. The accused – three Russians and one Ukrainian – were high-ranking pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and, according to the prosecution, are said to have obtained the rocket with which the plane was shot down.
Also read: The Ukraine Update of November 16th