After facing a challenging time in Russia, Bohdan Yermokhin, an orphaned Ukrainian teenager, has finally returned home to his family in Belarus. On his 18th birthday, Yermokhin was joyfully embraced by his relatives in Minsk, as captured in heartwarming photographs shared on social media. This reunion was made possible with the assistance of UNICEF and Qatari negotiators, who facilitated Yermokhin’s safe return to Ukraine.
The Journey Home
Yermokhin tragically lost his parents two years ago, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As conflict escalated, he was separated from his legal guardian cousin in the port city of Mariupol. Placed with a foster family in the Moscow region, Yermokhin was granted Russian citizenship. Throughout his time in Russia, he fervently expressed his longing to return home and be with his relatives in Ukraine.
With the support of his lawyer, Kateryna Bobrovska, who represents Yermokhin and his cousin Valeria Yermokhina, the young teenager’s desire to reunite with his family received recognition. Despite attempting to return home earlier this year, Yermokhin had to wait until his 18th birthday for the opportunity to safely come back to Ukraine. His potential conscription into the Russian army became a pressing concern.
Suffering and Controversy
Yermokhin’s case is not an isolated one. Thousands of children from occupied regions of Ukraine were transported to Russia, causing the International Criminal Court to charge Russian President Vladimir Putin and children’s rights ombudswoman Maria Lvova-Belova with war crimes. However, the Kremlin has dismissed these warrants, while Lvova-Belova argues that the children were brought to Russia for their own protection and not through abduction.
Although the claim of ensuring the children’s safety has been widely rejected by the international community, Lvova-Belova recently announced that Yermokhin would be allowed to return to Ukraine via a third country. Now, with his safe return and heartfelt reunion, Yermokhin’s journey serves as an example of resilience and the importance of family bonds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How old is Bohdan Yermokhin?
A: Bohdan Yermokhin turned 18 on his birthday when he was reunited with his family.
Q: How did Yermokhin end up in Russia?
A: Yermokhin was taken to Russia amid the war in Ukraine and placed with a foster family in the Moscow region.
Q: Who facilitated Yermokhin’s return to Ukraine?
A: UNICEF and Qatari negotiators played a crucial role in facilitating Yermokhin’s safe return to his home country.
Q: Why were children taken to Russia from Ukraine?
A: The children from occupied regions of Ukraine were taken to Russia, with claims of ensuring their safety during the conflict.
Q: What charges were brought against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova?
A: The International Criminal Court charged them with war crimes in relation to the transportation of children to Russia.
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