Stolen Youth. How Russia kidnaps Ukrainian children — and how Ukrainians get them back

Svyatoslav Khomenko, Nina Nazarova

In March 2023, in an unprecedented decision, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, effectively barring the Russian President from participating in Western politics. Alongside Putin, a much lesser figure was indicted: Marya Lvova-Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights. Both were accused of unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. With that sensational decision, one of the touchiest and the most controversial subplots of the Russian war with Ukraine has been brought front and center to the public’s attention. 

Interweaving piercing personal stories with broader social and political context, using both materials exclusively obtained by authors and data gathered by international investigating teams, “Stolen Youth” paints a full picture of the Russian plan to deport (at least) thousands of Ukrainian children and to forcefully change their national and cultural identities, but also presents stories of great defiance and resolve demonstrated by children themselves and their parents and legal guardians who risked their lives to return them home. The book builds many heartbreaking, encouraging and enraging personal stories into a concise narrative, presenting, for the first time, a comprehensive account of the Russian kidnapping system and the systemic and individual attempts to disrupt it. 

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GENRE

Non-fiction, investigation, personal stories

STATUS

Full text to be delivered in early 2025

SAMPLES

Sample translation to be available in August 2024

RIGHTS

Available for all languages

AUTHOR

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Svyatoslav Khomenko and Nina Nazarova are special correspondents for BBC News. Nazarova has been working at the BBC for eight years, producing award-winning stories on women’s and social affairs in Russia. Formerly based in Moscow, she now works from Riga, reporting about the war and the effects it has had on Russian society. Khomenko is one of the top BBC correspondents in Ukraine. After the full-scale Russian invasion began, he continued his work in the country, reporting from Kyiv, Lviv and eastern regions and dealing with subjects as diverse as Ukrainian politics and the victims of the Russian war crimes.

Both Nazarova and Khomenko have been following the kidnappings of Ukrainian children to Russia and reporting on them since Spring 2022.

This book is a unique collaboration between two brilliant journalists from Russia and Ukraine who know one of the most painful, complex and important subjects brought on by the war inside out.

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