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Maria Lvova-Belova’s working visit to Russia’s new constituent entities, Crimea and Sevastopol

February 6, 2023

On February 2–6, the Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights made a working visit to the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to help establish a system to help children and to provide targeted assistance to children’s social facilities and families with children.

Maria Lvova-Belova and the founder of the St Basil the Great Foundation, Konstantin Malofeyev, delivered assistance to Donbass and Zaporozhye orphanages worth 25 million rubles, collected within the framework of their joint charitable project Happy Childhood. There are 450 children and young adults living in these establishments, many of them disabled and left without parental care. In addition, targeted assistance has been provided to a large family in the Zaporozhye Region, with seven out of the family’s 10 children being taken into care.

The 20th humanitarian convoy of the charitable project Into the Hands of Children has delivered 15 tonnes of cargo worth 5 million rubles to the new regions. That assistance has been distributed among social facilities and 100 families with children.

A meeting with Acting Governor of the Zaporozhye Region Yevgeny Balitsky focused, in part, on helping the children who were in need of high-tech medical assistance and those with rare diseases. An agreement was reached to open a representative office of the Federal Centre for Developing Teenager Socialisation Programmes in the region.

In the Donetsk People’s Republic, Maria Lvova-Belova held a meeting with the heads of regional ministries on new approaches to protecting childhood and helping families. In particular, they discussed the establishment of a commission on young people in the region, the restructuring of children’s boarding houses, the improvement of the palliative service and the provision of high-tech medical assistance to children.

The agenda of a working meeting with the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic included the opening of a representative office of the Federal Centre for Developing Teenager Socialisation Programmes in the region. Denis Pushilin and Maria Lvova-Belova also launched a Family for Every Donbass Child project to help keep children in their biological families and to provide follow-up assistance to children in foster families.

In the Lugansk People’s Republic, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights and acting head of the republic Leonid Pasechnik held a meeting on children’s rights with the heads of the relevant republican agencies. Maria Lvova-Belova proposed creating facilities across the republic where teenagers would be able to communicate and spend time with each other in a safe environment and receive psychological assistance. She also announced that a representative office of the Federal Centre for Developing Teenager Socialisation Programmes would be established in the region.

The Commissioner discussed the return of orphans from evacuation with senator Konstantin Basyuk, Kherson Region, and talked with Acting Governor Vladimir Saldo about creating a social infrastructure in the region, which has no specialised facilities for children with disabilities and orphans.

Maria Lvova-Belova and Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev agreed to create an infrastructure for helping teenagers and families in difficult circumstances and a modern social service, Children in the Family, to keep families united.

The Commissioner and Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov decided that events with a substantive programme of psychological assistance would be organised in Crimea for children from the new war-affected regions and for children from the Belgorod Region, where a terrorist alert has been declared.

February 6, 2023