Diarmuid Breatnach

(Reading time main text: 4 mins.)

Currently the International Court of Justice1 has accused Premier Vladimir Putin and the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights of responsibility for the “forced abduction” of Ukrainian children and their adoption by Russian couples.

The charge implies ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation taking place during war and therefore would be classed a war crime. The Russian side denies the charge saying that instead what has taken place has been voluntary evacuation of families and evacuation of children from orphanages.

The western mass media (wsm) confines itself to repeating the charge and accusatory statements from western politicians, mostly from countries that are part of the NATO military alliance and briefly stating that the Russian leadership denies the charge. Is anyone actually investigating?

Well, Associated Press, a western media agency, says it has and that Russia is guilty. In that case, let’s see the evidence. And we’d have to wonder why a spokesperson for United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) states that it has seen no evidence of Russian abduction of children.

The wsm has only informed us of UNICEF’s position recently in the course of reporting an informal UN Security Council meeting where Maria Lvova-Belova not only denied the charges of abduction but gave actual hard figures on whole family and orphanage children evacuation2.

Ms Lvova-Belova, said that since February 24th, 2022, Russia has taken in more than five million Ukrainians, including 700,000 children — all with parents, relatives or legal guardians except for 2,000 from orphanages in the eastern Donbas.3

To date, she said, about 1,300 children have been returned to their orphanages, 400 were sent to Russian orphanages and 358 were placed in foster homes4.

Lvova-Belova speaking at the informal UN Security Council meeting (Photo sourced: Internet)

Ms Lvova-Belova said her office has met with representatives of UNICEF, Refugees International and the International Committee of the Red Cross and “provide all available information about the situation of children” and are “coordinating with the Red Cross on reunification,” she said.5

The NATO countries declined to send their ambassadors to the meeting while chief NATO state representatives present, e.g. of the USA and UK, walked out of the meeting without listening, accusing Russia of using the situation for propaganda purposes.

Well maybe, UK and USA representatives, but everyone has been issuing propaganda in this war! Anyway why not answer the Russian case with your own counter-evidence? If you actually have a viable case that stands up to scrutiny?

Some war-time children’s evacuation examples

The war damage inflicted in the Donbas region by both sides in this war since 2022 — and by the Ukrainian state alone since 2014 – would make concern for children’s lives a natural motivation for relatives anxious to get their children to somewhere safe.

During the anti-fascist war in Spain, sympathetic families in Britain took in children from the Republican side for their safety from the advancing Spanish military-fascist forces and allied German Nazi and Italian Fascist military.

Later, as defeat loomed for the Spanish Republic, families with children fled to many countries (a few even to Ireland) and yes, to the Soviet Union. In fact a Basque descendant of that evacuation has passed a year in Polish jail accused of spying for Russia without presentation of any evidence.6

Basque and Spanish children, refugees from Spanish Anti-Fascist War (Photo sourced: Internet)

During WW2, children from British cities were sent to homes in rural areas for their safety. Whatever the issues around how they were treated in their new or temporary homes, nobody speaks of “abduction” of Basque, Spanish or British children7.

Well, actually, some children were abducted in Spain, from their murdered Republican parents or from working class women who were told their baby had died in childbirth. The fascist State and the Catholic church presented these children for adoption to rich and loyal childless couples.8

One of the reasons for abduction of children in those cases was to satisfy the needs of childless couples loyal to the regime and required the massive collusion of a number of health and social care agencies, all of which were exposed later. Does this seem a likely risk for Russia to take?

Ukrainian families with children evacuating to Russia (Photo crdt: Wall Street Journal)

Well what about the other objective, social engineering, of creating fascist children, or for example “Germanisation” but in this case “Russification”?

Hardly, the children are from the Donbas region, an area already largely Russian in language and culture and, since attacks of the Ukrainian forces on it since 2014, already hostile to the Kyiv regime and mostly sympathetic to Russia.

The Ukrainian State leadership, one of the main accusers of Russia’s alleged abduction of children, frequently issues population figures of towns and cities in the Ukraine War zone, comparing pre-war with current figures, showing a huge drop between both sets.

Presumably the fall in numbers of inhabitants in towns under their control could not have been carried out by Russia. So are we to accuse the Kiyv regime of the “abduction” an “ethnic cleansing” of thousands of Ukrainians, its own citizens? Or more reasonably, of their evacuation?

Returning to the question of actual evidence, an issue of apparent little importance to the wsm and NATO country states, surely an international agency responsible for children would be expected to have a reasonable handle on this?

Or is UNICEF to come under the accusation regularly thrown at those of us who don’t swallow everything NATO says, i.e. of being “putinistas?

The Target of the Propaganda

It’s worth considering who the targets in this propaganda war might be and the reasons therein. The state intelligence agencies of NATO countries presumably have a fair idea of which are truths and which are lies. So the target is not the heads of states.

THE MAIN TARGET OF THE PROPAGANDA IS US, i.e. the ordinary people in the western world, whether in NATO (which most are) or not. The objective being that we should support our governments in backing US/NATO’s confrontation with Russia.

And that if it should come to world war, which seems increasingly likely, that we support our governments and suffer the consequences, including dying in millions to support their objectives. Without rebelling.



1The western mass media makes a point of telling us that Russia does not recognise the authority of the ICC but rarely adds that nor does the Ukrainian regime. And nor does the USA!

2An interesting exercise to evaluate wsm bias is to put “Russia denies abduction of children” in a mainstream search engine and see how many hits one gets for UNICEF’s statement.

3UNICEF: No Evidence on Russia’s Abduction of Ukrainian Children | News | teleSUR English

4As above

5As above

6Pablo Gonzalez, a journalist working for Spanish media, was born in Russia, grandson of such a refugee. He was covering the Ukraine war when detained by their state intelligence service and advised to leave the country; meanwhile Spanish state security visited and interviewed his family, his mother and friends. He left Ukraine but went to Poland and was arrested by their state intelligence service as he was accompanying other journalists crossing back into Ukraine. To this date well over a year later Gonzalez has had no evidence of spying presented against him. Unlike a journalist detained in Russia whose case elicited public concern from western politicians within days, none of them have mentioned the case of Pablo Gonzalez.

7Evacuation of children in the Spanish Civil War – Wikipedia

8See Sources: The same thing occurred under the fascist Pinochet dictatorship of Chile, war in El Salvador and by the Nazis in Poland during WW2.


UNICEF says no evidence Russian abduction of children: UNICEF: No Evidence on Russia’s Abduction of Ukrainian Children | News | teleSUR English

Russian charged with war crimes says Ukrainian children can go home (breakingnews.ie)

Abduction and relocation of children by fascist regimes:

Thousands Of Children Stolen During Franco Rule : NPR

Kidnapping of children by Nazi Germany – Wikipedia

‘I knew in my heart she was alive’: Families in El Salvador are finally reunited with children abducted during the country’s civil war | The Independent | The Independent

Stolen at Birth, Chilean Adoptees Uncover Their Past – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

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