Ukraine’s first lady appeals for abducted children

More than 19,000 children have been forcibly transferred or deported to Russia or Russian-occupied territories, according to official Kiev estimates

So far, only 386 of these children have been taken back to Ukraine, according to the first lady.

— They were told that their parents don’t need them, that their country doesn’t need them, that no one is waiting for them, says Zelenska.

She is in New York with her husband Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in connection with the UN General Assembly where the Ukrainian president is participating.

In his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Russia’s actions a genocide.

— We are trying to get the children home, but time is running out. What will happen to them, he wondered.

— The children in Russia learn to hate Ukraine, and all ties with their families are broken, he continued.

Russia denies allegations of child abductions, claiming instead to have rescued Ukrainian children from the horrors of war.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was singled out as the person most responsible for mass transfers and forced adoptions of Ukrainian children to Russia.

Russia has categorically denied the allegations.