“Children of Russia”: who kidnapped and abused the Kherson kids in Crimea
What is known about the collaborators and war criminals who held children hostage in occupied Crimea.
The Ukrainian army de-occupied Kherson and the right-bank part of the region five months ago. It was very striking then that there were very few children among the people who met the liberators. The fact is that throughout the fall of 2022, the Rashists took minors to the Crimea and Russia on a mass scale under the pretext of “vacation. And then they refused to give them to the families.
All this time, parents and volunteers have been taking Ukrainian children out of Russian captivity little by little. Recently an organization called Save Ukraine was able to bring back 15 babies. Their stories of abuse and forced “russification” will become evidence at a future military tribunal. After all, it was for the deportation of minors that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for the Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin and his “commissioner for children’s rights.
What we learned about the kidnappers of Kherson kids – tells the team Evocation.info.
Those Responsible for Child Abduction
At the beginning of October 2022 the so-called “Minister of Education of Kherson region” Mikhail Rodikov issued an “order” to organize cultural and educational shifts in the Crimea and the Russian Federation. Rodikov, a native of the Russian Federation, used to work as director of the Sevastopol Department of Education.
Organization of the removal of children to the “two-week vacation in Crimea” was made by a collaborator Tatiana Kuzmich – Deputy Traitor Saldo for the “evacuated Ukrainians”. Even before the full-scale invasion, the SSU announced Kuzmich’s suspicion of treason. She was accused of spying for the FSB. Of course, after the occupation of Kherson, the rf terrorists appointed her to a bread-and-butter position.
In addition to Tatyana Kuzmich, other collaborators were involved in the deportation of children from Kherson. For example, former teacher Alla Revko – the terrorists appointed the head of the education department of the pseudo-Ministry of Education in Kherson, who was in charge of forming groups to travel to Crimea and Russia.
Also, the pseudo-rector of the Kherson National Technical University Galina Raiko. This university offered trips to the Crimea for students, supposedly for a two-week vacation. University professors forged powers of attorney.
What was going on in the sanatoriums
On the night of October 7, children from Kherson were brought to the city of Yevpatoria in temporarily occupied Crimea. They were placed in the local sanatoriums “Luchistyi”, “Mechta” and “Druzhba”. The next morning the Ukrainian children were lined up for a “ceremonial ruler” under the Russian flag. Vladimir Saldospoke there and wished them “a good rest”. At that time, the kids had no idea what awaited them next.
The stories of the children who were able to return from Crimea make it possible to establish what happened in these “sanatoriums” and why they were actually taken there. Of course, after the claimed two weeks of “vacation” on the Black Sea coast, no one brought them home. Most had to stay, essentially as hostages, for about six months. Some are still there today.
The children say that all this time they were told that no one would take them back. The kidnappers used the “difficult situation” on Kherson’s right bank as a cover. Then they began to threaten forced adoption to Russian families or orphanages. Little Ukrainians were forced to sing the Russian national anthem, wear St. George’s ribbons, and walk around with Russian flags. Some were sent to “military-patriotic training” in the Junior Army. There are also known cases of rape of minors in such camps.
The manifestation of national identity: patriotic slogans and Ukrainian symbols were severely punished. They even beat me, locked me in the basement and took away my cell phones. From the testimony of 16-year-old Vitaly Vertash, it is reliably known that the former “berkut” Valery Astakhovwas responsible for the “physical side of the re-education” of minors in the camps. He beat the children with a metal pipe and burned the Ukrainian flag in front of them.
The director of one of the sanatoriums told the parents that the kids would not return to them because “now they are children of Russia. The minors were also taught how to handle weapons and forced to be photographed wearing bulletproof vests and helmets. It’s all for reporting as part of “military-patriotic education. They were told on a daily basis that Ukraine would soon be gone, so they had to adapt to the “new realities” or else “there would be problems.
Children who managed to return to Ukraine, among the worst places to stay noted the sanatorium “Druzhba”. It was there, they said, that they were treated with particular cruelty. As the Evocation.Info team was able to find out, the director of this sanatorium is a 51-year-old native of Yevpatoria Konstantin Ponomarenko.
Before the occupation of the peninsula, he worked as a private entrepreneur, running an outerwear manufacturing firm, Agroyugservis, in Yevpatoria. A couple of years ago, the Russian media reported that Druzhba was feeding slop to children instead of food. At the time Ponomarenko explained the incident by the fact that “the fryer was out of order.
Another place where Ukrainian children were forcibly detained was Camp Mechta. Vitaliy Vertash also recalled it, talking about the terrible conditions of his stay there. The facility is run by 59-year-old Marina Emelyanova. She was born in the Kostroma region of Russia. In 1971-1981, she studied at the Talitsky school in the Kostroma region. Before the occupation of Crimea, she lived in the city of Feodosia as a citizen of Ukraine. She worked at Voskhod, a private sanatorium, as well as at Tatius and Avi. After the illegal annexation, she apparently stayed to live on the peninsula.
In addition to “Druzhba” and “Dream”, children from the Kherson region were kept in the Evpatoria sanatoriums “Luchisty” and “Zdravnitsa“. The manager of “Luchistiy” Lolita Manilenko. It was she who met with Tatyana Kuzmich, a Kherson collaborator, during the latter’s trip to Crimea in February of this year. During this visit, Manilenko lied that all parents “are grateful to both the administration and the teachers for their sensitive, attentive attitude toward their children.
Lolita Manilenko was allegedly born in Dokuchayevsk, Donetsk Oblast. Before the occupation of Crimea, she lived in Sevastopol. In the early 2000s, she worked in a school in Sevastopol, at the companies “Fora-Breeze” and “Larant Ltd. From 2010 to 2013, she was a private entrepreneur, specializing in the production of baby food. Recently, she appeared as the manager of the Dolphin camp, located between Sevastopol and Yevpatoriya.
As Evocation.Info found out, the sanatorium “Zdravnitsa“, where Ukrainian children were held, is run by a citizen of the Russian Federation Sergei Nazriyev. He is a native of the Lugansk region of Ukraine, but lived in the Russian Federation. In the past he headed the administration of the village of Abrau-Dyurso in the Russian Krasnodar Territory. After moving to Yevpatoria, he not only became director of the sanatorium, but also joined the local government – he was elected deputy of Putin’s United Russia party in the Russian Federation-controlled city council.
In a comment to reporters Nazriev told that he came to Evpatoria from the Krasnodar region in 2016. “I’ve been living in Evpatoria for only a few years, but I’ve come to love it. I sincerely care about the fate of the city and know that I can be useful to it,” Nazriyev said frankly. In addition, he reported that his son is also related to the “authorities”. – works in the Russian “administration” of Simferopol. We hope that he and his entire family will leave the peninsula soon, after it is liberated by Ukrainian troops.
We should also note that the sanatoriums “Luchist”, “Druzhba” and “Dream” are part of the Crimean pseudo-state enterprise “Sunny Tavrica“. The director of the latter is the 68-year-old Ludmila Ermakova. She was born in the city of Yelets, Lipetsk Oblast, Russia. Before the occupation of Crimea, she lived in Simferopol and had Ukrainian citizenship. But after the illegal annexation, she began to actively cooperate with the occupiers – in early 2015, she headed Sunny Tavrika. Today he is a member of Putin’s United Russia party. There is no doubt that Yermakova is directly responsible for the abuse of Ukrainian children in Crimea and should be severely punished for it.