Your prayers are urgently needed as a recent decree issued by Russian leader Vladimir Putin will facilitate granting Russian citizenship to deported Ukrainian children. This, in turn, will allow for adopting these children as Russians and changing their identities, reported Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights.
Now orphaned Ukrainian children or those deprived of parental guardianship can be fast-tracked to Russian citizenship by way of a presidential decision, or after a request by the institution holding them.
“We understand the terrible consequences of such actions because the next step after they receive the ‘citizenship’ of the Russian Federation will be the adoption of children as Russians, and after that—the change of their personal data,” Lubinets added.
The Ukrainian authorities have identified more than 19,000 Ukrainian children who have been illegally deported to Russia since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. Only 387 children have been brought back so far, according to the national database Children of War.
A Family for Every Orphan (AFFEO) partners with Save Ukraine to rescue as many illegally deported Ukrainian children as possible. But this may become more difficult as a result of the January 4 decree. Save Ukraine’s leader Nikolai Kuleba has told us that the rescue, return, and reunification with relatives for one child requires:
1,624 miles of sometimes perilous travel, and
Since Russia can now accelerate the adoption of these children as Russian citizens, Lubinets fears that it is not far-fetched to think that Ukrainian children remaining in Russia could conceivably become Russians within the next three months. Once abducted Ukrainian children’s personal identities are changed it will be next to impossible for Save Ukraine to identify and rescue them. Added to that, Save Ukraine’s efforts could be deemed illegal by Russian authorities, further thwarting their efforts in numerous ways.
Won’t you please pray with us that the Lord would expedite Save Ukraine’s efforts by quickly providing the necessary resources to rescue Ukrainian children and reunite them with their families?
In addition, the past many months of Save Ukraine’s efforts to help with evacuations and other important needs have left workers nearly burned out and in great need of our continued prayers. Please especially lift up
1. the health and well-being of rescue workers—that the Lord would supernaturally rejuvenate them to carry on with their invaluable work.
2. the safety and protection of the Save Ukraine team members as they travel many miles under often-adverse conditions.
3. the Save Ukraine rescue trips to bring Ukrainian children home from Russia—that God would thwart Russia’s new efforts to force citizenship upon vulnerable Ukrainian children while, at the same time, He miraculously and speedily facilitates and multiplies Save Ukraine’s rescue efforts.
Thank you for your vital role in praying for the rescue and rehabilitation of deported Ukrainian children, and for remembering this new need. Your prayers are the link to hope, healing, and the chance for a brighter future for these children and their families.