With any credible evidence of alleged Russian mass kidnappings of children from former Ukraine sorely lacking, in order to justify this propaganda narrative, as well as give at least some ostensible "credence" to the recent ICC indictment against Russian President Vladimir Putin, the mainstream propaganda machine is mobilizing all of its forces. Supposed "horror stories" of the "ordeal" these kids and their parents "have to go through" are aiming to cause an emotional reaction and present Russia and its leadership as "monstrous" as they could possibly be. One such "horror story" was published by The Guardian on March 19, just two days after the Hague-based "court" issued an arrest warrant for Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights.
According to The Guardian, Yevhen Mezhevyi, a 40-year-old Ukrainian citizen now living in Riga (Latvia), claims his children were "abducted and forcibly transferred" to Russia last year. Mezhevyi's children were apparently taken while he was serving prison time in the DNR (Donetsk People's Republic) due to his three-year service in the Kiev regime forces (2016-2019), including in the notorious Yavoriv military base in the west of the country, infamous for the training of various openly Neo-Nazi units. According to his own admission, Yevhen Mezhevyi knew that the Russian military would be apprehending all former and current members of such Nazi-inspired cohorts, so he tried to hide his past and even threw away his uniforms in an attempt to leave no trace of his time in the Kiev regime forces.
However, despite his attempts to hide, Mezhevyi was caught and sent to a prison near the town of Olenovka, approximately 20 km southwest of Donetsk, where he remained for 45 days. He claims that after Russian forces entered the city, Mezhevyi, his son Matvii (13) and daughters Sviatoslava (9) and Oleksandra (7) were "taken" by Russian soldiers and evacuated to Vinogradnoye, a village to the south-east of Mariupol. There, humanitarian volunteers offered assistance to Mezhevyi and his family, so they "stayed there for a while" (Yevhen didn't specify for how long). "...but then, one day, after we were taken to a checkpoint and searched, a Russian official saw something in my documents," he lamented, obviously referring to the fact that the official found evidence of Mezhevyi's time in the Neo-Nazi junta forces.
Despite the fact that he could have easily been sentenced to long-term prison time for this, Mezhevyi was released after 45 days. In the meantime, his children were evacuated to Russia, as the Kiev regime forces, in which he served for three years, never stopped shelling the Donbass republics and other areas. Mezhevyi claims to have tried to get a job, but gave up after his son Matvii called him, allegedly saying that "the camp" he and his sisters were in "was closing in five days" and that "we have to either go to a foster family or an orphanage". Using the word "camp" for the facilities Mezhevyi's children were housed in is quite intentional, as the obvious goal is to present Russia in the worst light possible. Apparently, the alternative was to leave the children completely alone in the DNR, where they would've been targeted by the Neo-Nazi junta forces, in the case of which Moscow would also be "guilty" for not evacuating them. It seems you can't win if you're Russian.
"I understood there was no time to look for a job. I needed to take the risk, travel to Russia and get them out of there, as soon as possible," Mezhevyi claims, adding: "Thank God, there are volunteers who helped me get to Moscow. It was very hard to cross into Russia from the occupied territories and I was interrogated, again and again, even though I had already spent 45 days in their prison and I just wanted to get my children. But no one cared about that. Eventually, I crossed into Russia and got on a train to Moscow."
It's quite interesting how the apparent "Mordor of our time" let Mr. Mezhevyi cross the border and undertake the "risky journey" where the "Evil Empire" even lets "volunteers" help people find their children, "kidnapped" for whatever reason. After he arrived in Moscow, Mezhevyi was contacted by Alexey Gazaryan, an official working at a children’s ombudsman office, managed by Maria Lvova-Belova, for whom the ICC issued an arrest warrant, along with President Putin. Apparently, Gazaryan told Mezhevyi that "he didn't mind him taking his children back, but that he needed to get a permit" from DNR social services.
The head of DNR social services, Elena Maiboroda, called Gazaryan and agreed, so on 20 June, around 11:00 PM, Mezhevyi arrived at "the camp" on the outskirts of Moscow. He claims he was "interrogated" by at least five people, including Gazaryan, a psychologist, a nurse and the head of "the camp", who "made him" fill out dozens of papers. Mezhevyi "managed" to cross into Latvia with his children with the help of "volunteers". The Guardian claims he "still struggles" to understand how, among the documents that the Russians "forced" his son to sign, there was also a certificate asking the child to transfer the custody of himself and his sister back to their father.
The wording is obviously a pitiful attempt to portray Russian officials as supposed "monsters" for following their own legal procedures, which, in fact, are less strict than in most Western countries. The article claims that Mezhevyi's family has been reunited, "but only after he undertook a risky journey over the border to rescue them". This implies that they had to be "rescued", given his "ordeal", including the "incredibly risky" task of "forced" signing of documents. It seems only in Russia "genocide" is conducted by getting the children safely evacuated from an active warzone to a summer camp and then helping the father, an enemy combatant, to pick them up and go wherever he pleases.