Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian “savior” who deported children from Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, a conservative cleric of the regime, is one of the main figures in the practice of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia for adoption. The portrait of the woman who caused the war in Ukraine became one of the recipes for her popularity.

A blonde woman hugs a giant teddy bear in an airport corridor. Kneeling next to a teenager in a wheelchair in a floral dress. Leaning on a little blind boy, he helps him hang a wreath on the Christmas tree. From 2021, Maria Lvova-Belova, the representative of the Russian president for children’s rights, is staging her good works on the Telegram channel and on Russian television.

As in Ukraine, he flies to the aid of children in Russia. And it is deporting hundreds of people, forcing them to leave the annexed territories of Ukraine and settle in Russia, which is alien to them.

Conservative muse

With a scarf on her head and buttons on her chin, these mothers of ten children – five biological, five adopted, including one Ukrainian – play angelic and motherly.

The computer scientist who became the Pope took care of thirteen disabled children together with her husband. They are placed in the charity funds he founded, and some are accused of embezzlement by the Russian media.

Extremely rare in Russia, where the birth rate is low, this philanthropic businesswoman’s large family is an ideal figure for United Russia, Vladimir Putin’s party and the Orthodox Church. A real asset to the regime, the family welcomed their twenty-third child, Philip, a Ukrainian from Mariupol, in the spring.

>> Read also: Demographic decline in Russia: “Putin has no way out but victory in Ukraine”

Because we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be taken in: Maria Lvova-Belova, far from being a simple conservative inspiration, plays an important role in the deportation of the Ukrainian children she “saved” by sending them to Russia.

Thousands of Ukrainian children have gone missing

Photographed on planes, trains or bus stations, he proudly declares this on social networks and state media: thanks to him, hundreds, if not thousands, of Ukrainian children “receive asylum”. greater Russia. Call it “rescue” rather than “deportation”; and they prefer “custody” to “adoption”.

These children, who come from orphanages, hospitals, social centers or foster homes in the annexed regions, are orphaned or separated from their families as a result of wars, are given to Russian families with payment from the state.

In complete violation of international law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, this practice was denounced to the International Criminal Court by the French association “Ukraine, for their freedom and ours” in December. Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization, in its report published in November last year, also pointed to a “war crime” and a possible “crime against humanity”.

But far from being hidden, the child deportation policy feeds Russian propaganda and continues the “de-Ukrainization” desired by Vladimir Putin, who in May 2022 passed legislation to make it easier for Ukrainians to be granted Russian citizenship.

Thus, while Russia claimed to have accepted five million refugees from the annexed regions, Ukraine did early December 13 thousand children were deported to Russia, but it is difficult to estimate their real number.

Tears, balloons and rehabilitation centers

Videos follow each other on the Telegram account of Maria Lvova-Belova. Children from Donetsk and Donbass are brought to Russia and greeted by their “new families” with tears of joy and balloons. Their names are often changed and they are given new Russian passports in exchange for their old identities.

To facilitate their “integration”, “re-education” and “psychological rehabilitation” centers were opened in Moscow, Rostov and Tuaspe. The Belta website of Belarus reports that the other welcomed a thousand children from Donbass aged 6-15 to “rest and recover” in Belarus.

They receive “care” there, as well as “daily lessons in the Russian language and history,” Maria Lvova-Belova explains to her subscribers. The step is necessary because adaptation can sometimes take time. At first, he said, Philip showed “some negativity.” He insisted on singing the Ukrainian national anthem and talked about his participation in demonstrations in support of the army. But his behavior has changed. Now he is “grateful” to this “big Russian family” who saved him.

A dazzling career

A real godsend, the war in Ukraine allowed this former guitar teacher to continue his brilliant career in Russian institutions. In 2008, together with Anna Kuznetsova, the commissioner for children’s rights, she founded the “Blagovest” charity organization in Penza region. The two women share that they are mothers of several children and are close to the Orthodox Church.

Maria Lvova-Belova, who followed in the footsteps of her colleague who joined “United Russia” in 2014 in order to be appointed commissioner for children’s rights in 2016, moved to the ruling party in 2019, and her husband became a pope.

It all went from there: he joined the party’s general council almost immediately, before winning the crucial “Leaders of Russia” contest in 2020. A senator was appointed in the process, and finally he was appointed a commissioner in turn. Children’s rights by Vladimir Putin End of Anna Kuznetsova’s mandate.

“Fragile woman” according to Vladimir Putin

Since then, the war in Ukraine has brought it even more to the fore. Sanctioned by the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, she was publicly defended by Vladimir Putin in September, who said: ‚ÄúThis fragile woman is doing more for single children and peace than the shameful Americans who scratch the sanctions lists. “.

The energetic, 38-year-old woman is not going to stop on such a good path. After visiting each of the annexed regions in the fall, he plans to open “centers for teenagers” in 2023 to “pay special attention” to them… And deploy teams to meet “street children.” annexed territories.

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