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With the assistance of the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, 20 Russian children returned home from Syria

July 7, 2024

With the assistance of the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, another group of Russian children who had been staying in a refugee camp in northeastern Syria returned home.

Hard work, including coordinating and drawing up papers, exchanging data, and negotiating with the Kurdish side, had to be put in for an extended period of time before the children could be brought back. Finally, on the night of July 7, a Russian Air Force jet carrying 20 children, seven girls and 13 boys aged between five and 15, landed on Chkalovsky Airfield in the Moscow Region. The children will soon get a medical examination in a federal clinic and social rehabilitation at a Moscow centre, after which they will reunite with their relatives and stay with them under their care.

The focus is on rehabilitation and social and psychological support of all children who were brought back from the Middle East. Specialists from the Moscow State Psychological and Pedagogical University are carrying out an expert assessment of their psychological condition. Psychological counseling is also available for the children’s legal representatives, mainly their grandparents. They also receive assistance in obtaining the necessary documents. Regional children’s commissioners support families in matters of education and medical care for the children, and in obtaining social support, at their places of residence.

En route home, the group was accompanied by the staff from the Office of the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, doctors from the Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital at the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, the Forensic Medical Expertise Centre, and the Federal Centre for Disaster Medicine at the Russian Ministry of Healthcare. Assistance in returning the children home was provided by the staff of the Russian Embassy to Syria in Damascus, servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces grouping in Syria and the National Defence Control Centre of the Russian Federation. Following tradition, the military gave the children gift bags with school supplies, colouring books, toys, and candies.

In conjunction with representatives from the Russian Centre for Forensic Medicine, the staff from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner took blood samples from another group of children in the refugee camps for DNA molecular genetic tests to confirm their kinship with the Russian citizens.

The humanitarian mission to repatriate Russian children from the Middle East region has been conducted with the coordination of the Children’s Commissioner on behalf of the Russian President since 2018, with 566 children brought back to Russia from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkiye.

July 7, 2024