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Another eight children returned from occupation

These are children aged 7 to 17 from Kherson and Donetsk Regions. 

Another eight children returned from occupation
Photo: Mykola Kuleba

Another 8 children from the occupied parts of Kherson and Donetsk Regions have been returned to the government-controlled territory, the head of the Save Ukraine charity organisation Mykola Kuleba has reported.

"The great news is that eight more children and their families have finally returned to Ukraine. Among them are children aged 7 to 17 from the occupied parts of Kherson and Donetsk Regions," he wrote in a telegram.

He also added that the Save Ukraine team has already managed to rescue 405 children from Russia and the temporarily occupied territories.

Kuleba said that for Serhiy, one of the returned teenagers, it was his second attempt to leave the occupation. At the border, he was stopped by Russian police, detained and threatened with imprisonment. During the interrogation, they accused him of telling them a lie and promised to bring a psychic to hypnotise him and tell them everything.

Olena, a mother of two, also had to endure abuse and searches at home. Her one daughter has a serious congenital disease. She was horrified to hear how the Russians beat her until she lost consciousness and then ordered her not to tell anyone that she was in pain.

Another rescued teenager, Taras, said that he had bought a Russian SIM card to communicate in his occupied hometown. And as soon as he activated the number, he immediately received a message that he could come and join the Russian military under contract. It didn't matter that the SIM card holder was a minor.

And 14-year-old Myroslava, who was rescued, told how a Russian soldier at the border threatened her with a gun to make her go for interrogation. The girl is happy today that she is finally safe.

Now that children and adults are safe, they face a long process of recovery and rebuilding their lives in the new environment. 

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