47. Forced relocation and illegal adoption. Mariupol (Donetsk)

47. Forced relocation and illegal adoption.

Mariupol (Donetsk)

Featured in Vanity Fair via The Reckoning Project:

“‘Dad, You Have to Come—Or We Will Be Adopted!’: One Ukrainian Family’s Harrowing Wartime Saga”

LOCATION: Mariupol (Donetsk)

DATE: April – June 2022


SUMMARY: A father was forcibly evacuated with his kids from the bunker of Mariupol Municipal Hospital No. 4, as directed by soldiers of the internationally unrecognized “Donetsk People’s Republic,” affiliated with the Russian military. On the same day, the father was arrested at a checkpoint because his place of residence was a military base in Western Ukraine. The father was beaten, interrogated, and imprisoned for 45 days in occupied Olenivka, Donetsk Region, under suspicion of terrorism. At the same time, his three children were sent by the occupier’s social services to Russia, where his young son was coerced to provide consent for illegal adoption.  


The witnesses of the incident were a male civilian, his young son, and his elementary-school-age daughter. At the time of the invasion, he lived in Mariupol with his children.


The victims of the incident include the witnesses mentioned above, as well as the witness’s youngest daughter.


The perpetrators, as described by the witnesses, included members of the Russian military and internationally unrecognized “Donetsk People’s Republic” soldiers who varied in rank and all spoke Russian.