Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 200,000 children among Ukrainians forcefully taken to Russia

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 243 children have been killed so far in the Russia-Ukraine war, 446 have been wounded and 139 are missing

The Associated Press June 02, 2022 10:36:54 IST
Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 200,000 children among Ukrainians forcefully taken to Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. AP File

Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 200,000 children are among the Ukrainians who have been forcefully taken to Russia and dispersed across the vast country.

They include children from orphanages, children taken with their parents and those separated from their families.

"The purpose of this criminal policy is not just to steal people but to make those who are deported forget about Ukraine and unable to return," Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation on Wednesday, which was International Children's Day.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine would punish those responsible but first it would show Russia on the battlefield that "Ukraine cannot be conquered, that our people will not surrender and our children will not become the property of the occupiers."

Zelenskyy said 243 children have been killed so far in the war, 446 have been wounded and 139 are missing, adding that it could be more as his government doesn't have a full picture of the situation in areas occupied by Russian troops.

He then described the deaths of 11 children, calling them by their first names and saying how they were killed.

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