A Russian businessman’s foundation boasted on its website that it had taken 350 Ukrainian children from Bakhmut “under its wing,” before swiftly deleting it. Calls on social media for an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March for the same war crime allegations, likely prompted the quick removal of the post.

The website of Oleg Deripaska said it was sending the children, some of whom are “in serious condition and are afraid to even speak in Russian” to vacation camps in Crimea before settling them in Russia’s Krasnodar region where the oligarch grew up.

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The foundation also said in the post that it would publish a full list of the children on its site, adding that “in the future, the parents or legal guardians will be able to reunite with them on Russian territory.”

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A spokesperson for Deripaska claimed his website was targeted by hackers and he “unequivocally condemns the separation of children from their parents,” adding an investigation was underway to “identify the culprits.”

They also said he was not an "oligarch" as "Mr Deripaska never took part in any privatisation schemes that became the main source of wealth for oligarchs, nor has he ever acquired any assets from the state."

After the statement about the Ukrainian children was posted, it began circulating widely on social media with some calling for the ICC to investigate.

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The 70-year-old, a key figure of the Nobel Prize-winning Memorial group, is the latest target of Kremlin repression, which has intensified since the offensive in Ukraine.

Russia has kidnapped thousands of Ukrainian children since the start of the war in Ukraine under the guise that the children were “orphans,” even though many of the “orphans” have living family members, in Ukraine.

The trafficking of Ukrainian children is one of the specific reasons that President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, who is the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, were issued arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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The arrest warrant states that Putin and Lvova-Belova are “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute). The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022.”

Deripaska’s role in the transfer of children, an international crime, was confirmed by the UNIAN news service on Thursday.

Deripaska is estimated to have a net worth of around $2.6 billion and owns substantial amounts of properties.

The ICC did not immediately respond to an email inquiry by Kyiv Post.

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