WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Ukrainian Caucus, announced the introduction of a bipartisan resolution to condemn Russia’s illegal kidnapping of Ukrainian children. Peters authored this resolution with the support from key leaders of Michigan’s Ukrainian-American community. Since Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Russian authorities have abducted thousands of Ukrainian children, forcefully resettled them to Russia and announced that children born in occupied Ukrainian territories would be deemed Russian citizens – violating numerous international human rights treaties and amounting to genocide. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and cited his responsibility for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children.
“We must condemn the Russian government in the strongest terms possible and hold them accountable for the cruel and merciless kidnapping of Ukrainian children,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Ukrainian Caucus. “These brutal actions are a grave violation of international law and clear effort by the Russian government to steal the next generation of Ukrainian children and future leaders. It’s important we come together to denounce the Russian government for these atrocities.”
“We are so grateful for Senator Peters and Congress’s leadership in holding Russian officials to account for this heinous genocidal act,” said Emily Rutkowski, Government Advocacy and Outreach Co-Chair, Ukrainian-American Crisis Response Committee of Michigan (CRC). “Kidnapping children and re-educating them to hate their homeland has no place in the 21st century."
“There is perhaps no greater terror for a parent than the fear of having your child stolen from you,” said Mariya Soroka, Co-Founder and Director of Advocacy, Razom for Ukraine. “Russia’s kidnapping of countless Ukrainian children is legally an act of genocide, and morally an act of pure evil. On behalf of Razom, I want to thank Senator Peters and all supporters of this resolution for recognizing this tragedy. As Russia tries to destroy the future of the Ukrainian ethnicity, we're incredibly grateful for bipartisan support in Congress and throughout the United States.”
“It is unfathomable that an invading country could abduct, harm and brainwash Ukraine’s most innocent, vulnerable population, including orphans, children with special needs and children internally displaced due to Russia’s genocidal war,” said Vera Petrusha, President, Ukrainian Children’s Aid and Relief Effort (UCARE), Incorporated. “On behalf of Ukrainian children, their loved ones and UCARE, we thank Senator Peters and Congress for standing against these heinous war crimes.”
Last Congress, Peters helped introduce bipartisan legislation to document and deter Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act would ensure the U.S. is undertaking coordinated efforts to collect and maintain evidence of war crimes and atrocities committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Peters also helped pass the most recent government funding bill, which included significant emergency assistance to Ukraine, including for equipment, security assistance, and other humanitarian and economic assistance.
To read the full bipartisan resolution, click here.