A Russian official and Putin ally was among those given new sanctions by the United Kingdom on Thursday after she reportedly kidnapped thousands of Ukrainian children by claiming them as orphans and putting them in Russian orphanages.

The U.K. Foreign Office issued a series of new sanctions on companies and individuals in Russia who they believe are enabling the Russia-Ukraine war. Among those sanctioned is Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, who reportedly sent Ukrainian children to Russia in order to participate in forced adoptions, according to the Guardian.

“Today we are targeting the enablers and perpetrators of Putin’s war who have brought untold suffering to Ukraine, including the forced transfer and adoption of children. We will not tire of defending freedom and democracy, and keeping up the pressure on Putin, until Ukraine succeeds,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

Lvova-Belova, who has largely been held in high esteem by the local Russian media and has even garnered the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin for her schemes, has transferred up to 190,000 children from the Donbas to Russia, though the final number remains unclear, the Daily Beast reported.

“From the testimony of those who have saved themselves, we know about these horrors that Russian troops are forcibly transporting people to Russia, where the children are separated from their mothers. They then send the mothers to Sakhalin, and the children to other cities. Is this really the 21st century?” Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Iryna Venediktova said.

Among those who have condemned the large transfer of Ukrainian children to Russian orphanages are the United Nations, who have reminded Russia that they cannot just presume that a child is an orphan before using that reasoning to justify sending them to another country.

Russia has not denied the displacement and transfer of Ukrainian children but has instead framed the situation as them “taking care” of orphans, in spite of Ukraine’s claims that many of the supposed orphans sent to Russia still have living parents. The U.K. hopes that the new sanctions will help the Western countries in their commitment to Ukraine.

“Through the G7 and NATO, we are doing everything we can to strengthen Ukraine’s hand. We also need to make sure our Baltic friends and our Polish friends are involved. Sanctions must be kept in place while Russian boots are on Ukrainian soil,” Foreign Secretary Truss said.

Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova has been sanctioned by the British government after she reportedly executed orders that allowed Russia to declare Ukrainian children in occupied soil orphans before whisking them away to Russia. MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/Getty Images.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.