“Despite the fact that Bohdan is still 17 years old, he has already received a summons to appear at the military registration office in the Moscow Region on December 19, 2023,” said Bobrovská. “I have no doubt what the Russian authorities are planning for Bohdan.”
The young man will turn eighteen on November 19. “He will be an adult and most likely he will be sent to serve in the Russian army,” fears the lawyer. Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of the Interior, pointed out that this is the first case when a kidnapped Ukrainian youth is called to the military office.
A teenager taken from Mariupol to Russia was given a summons to the military enlistment center. This is the first such case known.
17-year-old Ukrainian Bohdan Yermokhin, taken by the Russian military from occupied Mariupol in 2022 and placed in a foster family, was issued a… https://t.co/PIq6olv0FJ https://t.co/gIoTL11y0R https: //t.co/3QqQUVBnpb
November 8, 2023 at 6:06 p.m., Post Archived: November 8, 2023 at 8:11 p.m.
In May 2022, Bohdan was transferred from Mariupol to Donetsk, and then to the Poljany children’s sanatorium in the Moscow Region. In July 2022, the Russians placed him in the family of Chechen war veteran Iryna Rudnitskaya. And this despite the fact that he has a legal representative. Having lost both of his parents at the age of eight, his sister looks after him.
Rudnitskajová confirmed that the young man had received the letter. According to her, however, it is only for data collection purposes, writes the Russian liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta. “He’s a student and he’s getting a reprieve. Conscripts don’t serve in a special military operation anyway,” she claimed. However, according to external and internal observers, Russia violates these rules, ignores them and sends even young conscripts to the front.
The young man contacted Bobrovská as soon as he got into the Russian family. He made several unsuccessful attempts to get back to Ukraine. In April 2023, the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvovová-Bělovová, mentioned one of them. According to her, the Russian domestic security service FSB “rescued” Bohdan from the Ukrainians, who tried to get him back to his homeland with “threats and manipulations”.
According to Bobrovská, Lvovová-Bělovová invited a young Ukrainian to her home the following month. Bohdan signed a statement in which he pledged not to return to Ukraine. He told his lawyer that he did so under duress. They threatened him, for example, that he would end up in a psychiatric hospital.
Bobrovská, together with his sister and Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinec, prepared the necessary documents to ensure the young man’s return to his homeland. “Bohdan’s sister and I submitted all the necessary documents confirming that Bohdan and his sister are blood relatives, as well as documents proving that she is his legal representative,” Ukrainska Pravda quoted her as saying.
The Ukrainians are asking Lvovová-Bělovová and the Russian ombudsman Tatjana Moskalkova for the repatriation of the kidnapped young man. The Russian Commissioner for Human Rights met with Bohdan, at the meeting he clearly told her that he wanted to go home. However, he later told his lawyer that Lvovová-Bělovová was not interested in his argument in the slightest.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague is prosecuting Lvovova-Belovova for her share of responsibility for Russia abducting Ukrainian children and teenagers and sending them to re-education camps on its territory.
Moscow does not deny this, but calls the program a “humanitarian mission to protect Ukrainian orphans and abandoned children.” Lvovová-Bělová herself adopted one of the children.
Ukrainian authorities say Russia has abducted and deported tens of thousands of children since the start of the war. According to Ukrainians, the kidnapping of minors and the attempt to rid them of everything Ukrainian is committing genocide.