Qatar has successfully mediated the return of four children to their families in Ukraine, The Washington Post reported on Monday, citing a representative of the Ukrainian government who spoke on condition of anonymity.
According to the source, two of the children have already been returned to their relatives, while the other two will be reunited with their families on Tuesday. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed what it called a “successful reunification process”.
The Washington Post reported that Qatar had been negotiating the return of the children, aged between 2 and 17 years old, with Russia at the request of the Ukrainian government.
One of the children was reportedly just six months old when he was deported to Russia from the hospital where he had been receiving treatment at the time of the Russian invasion.
Another child is a seven-year-old boy who was placed in a children’s home in Russia. His mother remains in Russian custody, though the grounds for her detention are not known.
The other two children are a nine-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl.
Russia has been accused of forcibly deporting children from the occupied territories of Ukraine. In March, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova for “the war crime of unlawful deportation of children”.