Photo: Erik Drost on Wikimedia Commons
The missing children from Cleveland and those taken from Ukraine cannot be compared at all. The context and circumstances are totally different. The circumstances of the children from Cleveland have not been clarified yet and there is no indication of an established pattern or tendency that they all disappeared in the same way. They are isolated cases with unknown outcomes. It is clear, however, that the children taken from Ukraine were kidnapped by the Russian state after their parents were arrested in the occupied territories or killed in the invasion once separated from their parents in an active war zone. In addition, the children from Ukraine were also taken away from Ukrainian state institutions in the occupied regions and taken to Russian territory in “summer camps” where they were subjected to Russian influence, in an attempt to erase their national identity, writes Truthmeter.mk.
Under the content-sharing agreement between Truthmeter.mk and Meta.mk, we republish the text below:
In Cleveland alone, 30 children disappeared within 2 weeks. Imagine how many children disappear every day in the United States. And they accuse Putin of child trafficking.
The post also shares a photo of a New York Post headline reporting missing children in Cleveland. But when you read the original article, however, it becomes clear that the reasons for the disappearance of these 30 children are unknown, and that several scenarios, i.e. indicated options exist about why they disappeared.
According to the article, Cleveland Police announced that 27 children were reported missing between 2nd May and 16th May, which is an unusually high level in 2023.
There’s always peaks and valleys with missing persons, but this year it seems like an extraordinary year. For some reason, in 2023, we’ve seen a lot more than we normally see, which is troubling in part because we don’t know what’s going on with some of these kids, whether they’re being trafficked or whether they’re involved in gang activity or drugs, Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy says.
He added that the majority of the missing children cases were runaways, but he feared some of the teenagers could’ve be victims of predators. Majoy added that the problem was that it was not known where these children were, whether they were involved in a drug house or farmed to prostitution. Cleveland Police launched “Operation We Will Find You” to find 35 missing children in May. Agents combed through cases in Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, and other surrounding counties to find the missing minors, with some of the kids located as far as California and Arizona.
The epidemic of missing children in our county needs a spotlight, it needs our focus. We hope operations like this sharpen that focus. Every child deserves a safe environment to grow up in, and we are dedicated to helping provide that for the children and families in Ohio, said the Police.
Contrary to the parallel drawn in the fact-checked post regarding the children from Ukraine and those from Cleveland, it is evident that something completely different is going on. The reasons for their disappearance are incomparable. Unlike the children in Cleveland who are missing either of unknown reasons or because of possible trafficking or involvement in gangs and prostitution, the children in Ukraine are missing due to totally different reasons.
The court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes committed in Ukraine. The announcement of the International Criminal Court states that there are reasonable grounds to believe that both Putin and his Children’s Rights Commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, are responsible for war crimes, illegal deportation of the population and illegal resettlement of the population from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the detriment of the Ukrainian children.
Lvova-Belova, Commissioner in the Russian President’s Office for Children’s Rights, has been sanctioned by most of Western countries for her alleged role in child abductions.
Lvova-Belova’s efforts specifically include the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, the so-called “patriotic education” of Ukrainian children, legislative changes to expedite the provision of Russian Federation citizenship to Ukrainian children, and the deliberate removal of Ukrainian children, the US Treasury revealed in September, as reported by CNN.
According to the press release of the Council of Europe from 6 March 2023, ”many Ukrainian children affected by the war were taken to or ended up in the Russian Federation or in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine. The particular circumstances of such cases differ considerably”. The Council of Europe identified several categories of children subjected to such practices. One category are orphans and children in institutions who have been resident in the regions on Ukraine occupied by Russia and who were taken to Russia before last year’s aggression, in 2014. Others have been taken to Russia from care institutions located in the regions of Ukraine that have come under occupation or temporary control of Russian Forces after 24th February 2022, Forbes reported .
During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia forcibly transferred thousands of Ukrainian children to areas under its control, assigned them Russian citizenship, forcibly adopted them into Russian families and created obstacles for their reunification with their parents and homeland.
The missing children from Cleveland cannot be compared with those taken from Ukraine. The context is totally different as are the circumstances. The circumstances of the Cleveland children have not been clarified yet and there is no indication of any established pattern or tendency that they all disappeared in the same way. They are isolated cases with unknown outcomes. It is clear however, that the children taken from Ukraine were kidnapped by the Russian state after their parents were arrested in the occupied territories or killed in the invasion once separated from their parents in the active war zone. The children from Ukraine were also taken away from Ukrainian state institutions in the occupied regions and taken to Russian territory in “summer camps” where they were subjected to Russian influence in an attempt to erase their national identity.
Due to all the above noted, we assess the fact-checked post as manipulative with a lack of context.