Russia is violating the fundamental principles of child protection in wartime by giving Ukrainian children Russian passports and putting them up for adoption.

The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) chief, Filippo Grandi, said this in an interview with Reuters on Jan.27 following a visit to Ukraine.

"Giving them (Russian) nationality or having them adopted goes against the fundamental principles of child protection in situations of war," Grandi said.

According to him, what is happening now in Russia "must not happen."

According to the press service of Ukraine's Ombudsman's Office, as reported by Ukrinform on Jan. 24, some 14,578 children are believed to have been deported from Ukraine to Russia since the full-scale invasion 343 are considered missing.


Grandi said his agency was unable to estimate the number of children who had been given passports or put up for adoption, as access in Russia was extremely limited.

"We are seeking access all the time, and access has been rather rare, sporadic and not unfettered," he said.

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