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  • Writer's pictureBeyond the Canvas

The unspeakable tragedy of Ukraine's stolen children

It's been 634 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children have been abducted and deported to Russia and Belarus, told their parents have abandoned them, forced to speak Russian, subjected to illegal adoptions and brainwashed. The end game of this systematic policy is the eradication of their national identity and, ultimately, their 'russification'.

Listening to my favourite podcast this morning, I learned that a man called Mykola Kuleba has been awarded the 2023 Magnitsky Award for Outstanding Human Rights Activist prize. Kuleba heads up an organisation called Save Ukraine whose aim is to reunite these children with their families and carers. According to their website, 19,456 children have been identified, 211 saved and returned to their loved ones.

The world is ablaze with so much hatred, violence and destruction. It is all hard to process and impossible to comprehend. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming, so I sit here and write a worthless blog post. As if it made any difference at all.

Maria Prymachenko (1909-1997)

A Dove Has Spread Her Wings and Asks for Peace, 1982

© Prymachenko family foundation

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