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Over 2,000 children from other states currently stay in Iraq, Syria

Many children were taken to conflict-hit countries by their parents who got under the influence of terrorist organizations

MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. /TASS/. Rights activists from Chechnya said on Tuesday they had been informed about 2,000 children from Russia, former Soviet states and other countries, who are currently being held at refugee camps in Syria and Iraq.

"The ‘Objective’ [a non-governmental organization that Saratova heads] has registered over 3,000 requests from people, whose children and grandchildren are currently staying at refugee camps. Those requests mention about 1,000 young women, 2,000 children and 200 men," a prominent Chechen rights activist, Kheda Saratova, said during a conference in Moscow to discuss repatriation of Russian compatriots from Middle Eastern countries.

"Our lists mention people from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and all other states members of the Commonwealth of Independent States," said Saratova, who is also a member of the Human Rights Council of the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. "We also received requests from Austria, Australia, Germany, Norway."

According to Saratova, lists and databases compiled by The Objective indicate that the majority of those people are staying on the territory of the refugee camps in northern Syria.

Russian children in Middle East

More than 200 women and children - residents of Chechnya, Dagestan and other Russian regions, as well as Uzbekistani and Kazakhstani citizens, have been evacuated to Russia with support from Chechnya’s authorities since 2017, according to earlier reports. They were taken to conflict-hit countries by their parents who got under the influence of terrorist organizations.

Later the federal interagency commission for providing support to children staying in the conflict zone was created. In late December, 2018, a special Emergencies Ministry plane delivered to Russia from Iraq 30 children aged from three to 15 years who had been kept in Iraqi prisons together with their mothers. In February 2019, 27 more Russian children aged from four to 13 were taken from Baghdad to Moscow.

The Iraqi government earlier said that over 50 Russian children are still staying on the country’s territory. In July, over 30 children aged below four years are expected to be returned to Russia.