Russia Invites Children's Official Sought by ICC to Brief UN
. The commissioner for children's rights in Russia, who is being sought for war crimes, will brief a controversial U.N. meeting Russia called to counter what it claims is Western disinformation about Ukrainian children taken to Russia.
UNITED NATIONS, (AP) - The Russian commissioner for children's right, who is wanted for war crimes in the United States, will give a briefing at a controversial U.N. Meeting on Wednesday. Russia convened this meeting to counter what they claim is misinformation from Western officials and media regarding Ukrainian children sent to Russia.
The Russian U.N. Mission confirmed on Tuesday that Maria Lvova Belova would be the main speaker at an informal Security Council meeting, via video link. This has caused opposition among Ukraine's supporters. Last month, the International Criminal Court issued warrants for her arrest and that of President Vladimir Putin in connection with these abductions.
The United Kingdom has said that it will not send any ambassadors to the meeting and is protesting by blocking outside broadcast.
James Kariuki, UK deputy ambassador, said: 'The invitation of someone indicted by ICC speaks volumes.' The UK Mission later added in a press release: 'If the woman wants to account for her actions, she can do it in The Hague', the Netherlands city that houses the ICC's headquarters.
The Associated Press published a report in October on Lvova Belova's role in the abductions of Ukrainian orphans. This was the first investigation that followed the abductions all the way up to Russia. They relied on dozens interviews and documents.
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The open effort to place Ukrainian children for adoption in Russia is well underway. The Ukrainian government claimed that 8,000 children were deported to Russia. However, the exact number is difficult to determine.
The ICC announced its warrants for March 17 and alleged that Putin, Lvova-Belova and others were responsible for war crimes of illegal deportation of children and transfers of those children into Russia from occupied regions of Ukraine.
Moscow doesn't recognize the jurisdiction of the court, so their chances are slim. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin's spokesperson at the time, called the ICC's action 'legally void.' It was also deemed 'outrageous.'
The adviser for humanitarian programs at Lvova Belova's Office and the commissioners of human rights and child's rights from Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Region, which is partially occupied by Russia, are also expected to speak during the informal Security Council Meeting.
The Russian U.N. Mission stated that the meeting on Wednesday was to provide 'objective' information about children living in conflict zones in eastern Donbass, including Donetsk and Russian measures for evacuating them from danger.
According to the mission, Western media and certain delegations have misrepresented evacuations as "abduction," "forced displacement," and "adoption" and that Russia is trying to destroy Ukrainian identity. The mission said that such a position was not only illogical and baseless, but also inhumane, as it would have left orphaned children or those who were uncared for in the middle of the hostilities.
The U.N. ambassador of Poland, Krzysztof Krzysztof, said that it was not appropriate for Lvova-Belova to brief the Security Council.
'We must take the arrest warrants of the ICC seriously,' he stated. It's not him who can describe the horrors and atrocities of the kidnapped children and their forced transfer to Russia.