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The ICC issued an arrest warrant for a Russian “child collector”. Who is Maria Lwowa-Belova?

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The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova on suspicion of unlawfully deporting children and illegally exporting people from Ukraine to Russia. Who is Lwowa-Belova? “He’s a key figure in the Kremlin-led scheme,” said Nathaniel Raymond of the Yale Humanitarian Research Lab.

International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant Vladimir Putin on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful removal of people from the territory Ukraine to Russia.

In connection with the same allegations, the ICC also issued an arrest warrant for the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova.

WATCH: Putin’s crimes

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Vladimir Putin and Maria Lviv-BelovaMIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/PAP

The ICC communiqué indicated that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Maria Lvova-Bielova bears individual criminal responsibility” for the above-mentioned crimes.

Lviv-Belova: after a few months, Ukrainian children begin to love Russia

Maria Lwowa-Bielova – sometimes called “Mother Rasia” in the Russian media (Mother Russia – ed.) – has been the Russian Commissioner for Children since 2021, when she was appointed by Vladimir Putin. She recently made headlines when she shared on social media that she was “helping to connect Ukrainian children with Russian parents who want to adopt them.”

READ MORE: Ukrainian Ombudsman for Children’s Rights: Russia has deported over 16,000 children

In the spring of 2022, Lwowa-Belova herself adopted a teenager from Ukraine. The child comes from Mariupol, which was previously attacked by the Russians. She used it as an example of the change allegedly made in Ukrainian children after arriving in Russia. After a few months, according to Lvova-Belova, the Ukrainian child was to start “loving” Russia.

Maria Lwowa-Biełowa with her adopted child from Mariupol2023 Cable News Network All Rights Reserved

– When we brought them to the territory of the Moscow region to recover a little, a story began that they spoke negatively about (Putin – ed.), said various nasty things, sang the anthem of Ukraine, said “Glory to Ukraine” and so on – said Lviv- Belov, quoted in one of the BBC reports. “So yeah, there’s that kind of negativity, maybe at first, but then it turns into love for Russia,” she said.

In February, CNN reported that Lviv-Bielova continues to visit Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine and oversees the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, where they are then adopted by Russian families. Putin allegedly authorized Lvova-Belova to take “additional measures” to kidnap children deprived of parental care in the territories of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia, including the Zaporizhia, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Lvova-Belova often shares photos and videos on her Telegram channel of children about to enjoy their new Russian families.

“The children told her they wanted to go home”

According to the Ukrainian ombudsman for children’s rights, Daria Herasymchuk, the Russians make it difficult for kidnapped children to contact their relatives in Ukraine in every possible way. They take away their phones, do not let them inform their families about their whereabouts. “They tell the child that if no one claims it, it will be put up for adoption,” she said.

According to the spokeswoman, the Russians are consciously breaking the rules of international law regarding the adoption of children. This is done with the consent of the highest authorities in Moscow.

Maria Lwowa-BelovaMIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/PAP

– The plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Bielova, publicly says that she adopted a boy from Mariupol, whom she took from there herself. We have testimonials from children who were recovered and who personally spoke to Lwowa-Bełowa, told her that they wanted to return home, had family and parental contacts, but were nevertheless sent to a foster family, she said.

Radziwinowicz: she is a collector of children

The silhouette of Lwowa-Biełowa was described on TVN24 BiS by Wacław Radziwinowicz, a longtime correspondent in Russia of “Gazeta Wyborcza”. – The wife of an Orthodox priest, she is a collector of children herself. She gave birth to five of her own, but she still has seventeen adopted children – he said. – Not so long ago, in September, she admitted, and then whimpered to Putin, that her dream had come true, because she also had a boy adopted from Mariupol, a Ukrainian boy. She said that she had always dreamed of having such a child – he added, describing the example of adopting a child kidnapped from Mariupol, occupied by the Russians.

– She is behind this procedure, she co-organizes this procedure, defends it and praises it. (…) I wouldn’t call it deportation, it’s just kidnapping, said Radziwinowicz.

“Maria Lwowa-Belova is a key figure in the Kremlin-led scheme,” said Nathaniel Raymond of the Yale Humanitarian Research Lab.

Main photo source: MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/PAP



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