Comment by the Information and Press Department on the fourth group of underage Russian nationals returning home from Iraq
On November 18, a fourth group of 32 Russian children was evacuated from Baghdad to Moscow on a special flight chartered by the Emergency Situations Ministry. These children were found in Iraqi orphanages or prisons with their mothers who are either under investigation in Iraq or have received different prison terms for their involvement in ISIS terrorist activities. This means that all 122 underage Russian nationals between the ages of 1 and 15 who were found in Iraq have been flown back to Russia.
Since August 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry in close cooperation with the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Anna Kuznetsova and with support from the Defence Ministry, the Emergency Situations Ministry, the Healthcare Ministry and other ministries handling these issues has been conducting a complex effort on a massive scale to have the children of Russian nationals return home from Iraq as soon as possible. A precise step-by-step plan was coordinated that allowed all those involved in this work to carry out, in compliance with Russian and Iraqi law, the legal and organisational procedures and the preparations required for the purpose – taking DNA tests to verify relationships, obtaining court decisions, securing temporary guardianship, paying fines, etc., and also have documents issued for each child.
We express our sincere gratitude to the authorities of friendly Iraq for every kind of assistance and support they provided to us in organising and carrying out this exceptionally important humanitarian mission.
The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Baghdad will continue to work with their Iraqi partners to search for and identify underage Russian nationals who might still remain in the Republic of Iraq.