Sep 14, 2023 at 7:00 PM Update: 6 hours ago
The Netherlands will provide Ukraine with rapid DNA tests so that the country can more quickly retrieve abducted children from Russia and occupied territories. Since the start of the war, the Russians have kidnapped thousands of Ukrainian children.
The tests will allow Ukrainian authorities to more quickly identify abducted children and reunite them with their families.
With the help of a database, they can more easily determine who the family members are, reports outgoing Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot during a meeting with the Ukrainian ombudsman.
Ukraine will register forensic material from relatives of missing children. With the rapid tests, the DNA of returned children can be examined in mobile DNA labs within two hours. The enormous DNA research required for family reunification is too large for normal DNA labs.
Moreover, this DNA reunification project allows Ukraine to collect evidence of child abductions and thus support the prosecution of war criminals.
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Six children reunited with family
Recently, six children aged eleven to seventeen returned to their families. They have been kidnapped to Russia or occupied territories in the past year and a half. In April, 31 children have already been retrieved. At least thousands of children are still being held abroad.
It is unclear exactly how many children are involved. In January, the European Parliament assumed “at least 5,600”, but possibly 260,000 children. Ukrainian organizations speak of hundreds of thousands of kidnappings. According to Russia, 700,000 children have been “saved”.
The outgoing minister called this form of Russian policy “unprecedentedly cruel”. “These children should not disappear from the radar. It is very important that they are retrieved and reunited with their families. With these DNA kits, the Netherlands can help Ukraine with this,” Bruins Slot said.
The Russians are taking the children with them from the war that they believe Ukraine has provoked. “The children would be protected from the so-called Nazi regime in Kyiv. That is of course nonsense,” Hella Rottenberg of the journalistic platform Raam op Russia emphasized earlier.
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