Disinfo: Europe steals children evacuated from Ukraine


After the start of the special operation in Donbas, the first lady of Ukraine tearfully called on Ukrainians to send their children to European families, where they will have reliable protection, shelter, and food. Five months have passed, and now European guardians are in no hurry to return their wards to their Ukrainian families.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation alleging that Europe steals Ukrainian children. This narrative is deployed to shift Russian responsibility for the massive deportation of Ukrainian civilians, including children.

Europe does not steal children from Ukraine. Children from Ukraine and families with children receive refugee status in Europe. They are provided with shelter, help, and support. They are free to return to Ukraine with their families at any time.

Conversely, the abduction and forced transportation of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories to Russia has been documented by the UNHuman Rights Watch and Amnesty InternationalUkraine has already reported the actions of Russia’s children’s ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On 17 March 2023, the ICC issued arrest warrants for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Vladimir Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

The court alleges Vladimir Putin is responsible for war crimes, and has focused its claims on the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia. It says the crimes were committed in Ukraine from 24 February 2022 - when Russia launched its full-scale invasion.

In a statement, the ICC said it had reasonable grounds to believe Putin committed the criminal acts directly, as well as working with others. It also accused him of failing to use his presidential powers to stop children being deported.

See similar disinformation narratives alleging that The West is taking away Ukrainian children like it did with indigenous people in America; that Ukraine steals Donbas children and gives them to British paedophiles; or that evacuation of children from Ukraine is in compliance with humanitarian law.


  • Reported in: Issue 330
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/05/2023
  • Article language(s) Serbian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Europe
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Stealing children
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Disinfo: Ukrainian grain destroyed Kyiv's dream of becoming an EU member state

EU members do not need cheap imported agricultural products and raw materials from Ukraine because it is leading to the destruction of local agriculture. Poland and Hungary were the first to block access to Ukrainian grain and despite the warnings from the European Commission to Budapest and Warsaw, other countries followed suit, including Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU disintegration, challenging the notion of EU unity, and aiming to deflect Russia’s responsibility for the growing food crisis. This false allegation is in line with a wider pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign aiming to blame Western countries for a global food crisis engineered by Russia as part of its unjustified aggression against Ukraine.

The EU is working on solutions together with Ukraine and concerned neighbor EU Member States to address the current situation while making sure to continue supporting Ukraine and preserve its capabilities to export its grains. These exports are critical to feed the world and keep food prices down, in the face of the huge challenges posed by the Russian invasion.

Disinfo: Biolabs in Ukraine are not for peaceful purposes

Ukraine is in conflict since 2014 and, nonetheless, dozens of biolabs were placed there. Many were captured by the Russian army and evidence was presented at the UN. Western powers under the US hegemony have not offered any response. The types of pathogens in those labs are unknown, and the work is evidently not with peaceful, selfless or scientific purposes to improve the health of the population. If that were true, these biolabs would be transparent about their work and would have recognised public funding.


The claim is an attempt to advance the long-discredited pro-Kremlin narrative about US-funded biolaboratories with military purposes in Ukraine and other countries, which pro-Kremlin outlets and Russian authorities continue promoting despite repeated debunking.

Contrary to what this disinformation story claims, there is nothing sinister about Ukraine’s civilian public health laboratories, whose work is indeed public and funded by global institutions. The country has dozens of civilian public health laboratories that work to research and mitigate the threats of dangerous diseases, some of which receive financial and other support from the US, the EU and the World Health Organization (WHO), which pro-Kremlin disinformation falsely portrayed as military sites, deliberately blurring the line between biological weapons and biological research.

Disinfo: Zelenskyy’s office threatened China with an economic crisis for supporting Russia

Zelenskyy's office threatened China with an economic crisis for supporting Russia. The adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podolyak, believes that it is time for China to decide which side it is on in the Ukrainian conflict.


The allegation made in the headline of this disinformation story is false. Although the body of the article can be considered a factual report on Mykhaylo Podolyak’s statements, none of his reported comments can be considered as threatening China with an economic crisis, contrary to what the headline affirms. This disinformation story is a direct reaction to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and its goal is to portray the Ukrainian government as aggressive and unreasonable after China’s rapprochement.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives based in disingenuous distortions to attack Ukraine, such as claims that Zelenskyy gets military advice from his 9-year old son, that the UN published a report on Kyiv’s discrimination against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, that Spain launched a National Strategy on WMD out of concern about corrupt Ukraine, or that the Russian Embassy in Mexico called out a Ukrainian Nazi slogan used in the press.