The Ministry of  Foreign Affairs on Wednesday welcomed the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to update its resolution condemning human rights violations in Ukraine, underscoring the “heinous crimes” of Russia’s forced relocation of children since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

 “[The resolution] condemns Russia’s gross human rights violations, calls to cease forced deportations, and ensure the safe return of all abducted Ukrainian children and civilian hostages,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

“These are among the most heinous crimes and must be stopped.”

Earlier this week, three more Ukrainian children were returned home from Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine and from Russia with the mediation of Qatar.


That brought the total of repatriated abducted children to 387.

But as Christmas approaches, thousands of Ukrainian families are still awaiting news about the fate of their loved ones. Still others will spend the holidays grieving after receiving the worst possible news.

Of the approximately 20,000 children abducted by Russia, more than 500 of them have been confirmed dead.

Arina Yatsiuk PHOTO: Facebook Oksana Yatsiuk

One of the most wrenching stories was that of 15-year-old Arina Yatsiuk, who was separated from her younger sister and taken by Russian soldiers on March 3, 2022 for “treatment,” and whose body was located only in October.

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Arina Yatsiuk PHOTO: CNN

For nearly two years, her grandparents had worried about her whereabouts but held out hope that she was still alive. (Her parents were killed on that March day when they were confronted by Russian troops on the Zhitomir highway.)

Arina Yatsiuk with sister Valery. PHOTO: Facebook Anna Yatsiuk

The grandparents’ hopes were shattered when it was revealed that their granddaughter’s body had turned up in a morgue in Mozyr, Belarus.

Her relatives retrieved the body and buried her in Uman, in the Cherasky region, by the grave of her parents.


Parents of Arina Yatsiuk, Anna and Dennis Yatsiuk. PHOTO: Facebook Ksenia Yatsiuk

In late November, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe announced it had set up a special committee on the violation of the rights of Ukrainian children by Russians.

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