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Six children from Ukraine were brought back from Russia as part of an agreement with Qatar.
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Six children from Ukraine were brought back from Russia as part of an agreement with Qatar.

Six children from Ukraine who were taken by Russia during their invasion will be returned to their families after Qatar helped mediate the situation, according to officials from the Gulf nation on Tuesday.

Russia has been alleged to have forcefully removed numerous Ukrainian children from educational institutions, medical facilities, and child welfare centers in regions under its control.

Eight to 15-year-old children were returned through Qatar’s embassy in Moscow. This was part of a Doha-mediated agreement between Russia and Ukraine, which also resulted in four minors being returned in October.

Lolwah Al-Khater, the Minister of State for International Cooperation, announced that Qatar helped unite six more Ukrainian children with their families just in time for the holiday season.

She stated that both parties collaborated completely and acted with honest intentions throughout the procedure, with Qatar acting as a mediator.

One of the recent members is an 11-year-old boy whose mother, a soldier from Ukraine, is currently detained in Russia. He has been placed in the care of his aunt and is en route to Ukraine through Moscow.

In March 2022, an eight-year-old boy had been staying with his grandmother in eastern Ukraine. Qatar helped negotiate a reunion with his mother in Russian-occupied Luhansk, and the two then traveled to Moscow together.

Every family has journeyed together on the identical path to Kyiv, passing through Moscow and Minsk with Qatari diplomats accompanying the children to the border of Ukraine where they will be welcomed by Ukrainian officials.

According to Ukraine, around 20,000 children were brought to Russia after the invasion by Moscow in February 2022. However, only 400 have been sent back.

The city of Moscow has refuted claims of forcefully relocating numerous Ukrainian children to Russia, instead stating that they were transferred for their own well-being if they lacked parental guardianship.

Khater stated that the Qatari mediation was initiated due to requests from Russia and Ukraine. The purpose was to identify and examine potential opportunities for collaboration, with the goal of building a foundation of trust between the two parties.

In recent months, Qatar has played a significant role in various negotiations and exchanges involving high-profile individuals. This includes facilitating discussions between Israel and Hamas to secure the release of many hostages and a seven-day truce in Gaza, which concluded on Friday.