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"Layout" found 14 orphans taken out of Kherson in the Crimean children's home "Herringbone"

January 27, 2023, 14:25 259 meduza.io It was called the "children's concentration camp" and compared with Auschwitz because of the cruel treatment of the pupils.

Children's home

Children's home "Yolochka"

The russian authorities transported at least 14 orphans from Kherson to the Simferopol "Yolochka" orphanage, which the media called a "concentration camp" and compared it to Auschwitz because of the living conditions of the children. About this writes "Layout", whose journalists managed to establish the whereabouts of the children.

The publication drew attention to photographs of orphans from the territories of Ukraine occupied by the russian federation as part of the report on the results of the “Become Santa Claus” campaign. The pictures were published on the website “Adoption in the moscow Region”.

The photographs were accompanied by letters to Santa Claus, in which the children talked about themselves. For younger children, the postcards were signed by educators. "Verstka" noticed that 14 postcards were signed in the same handwriting - and each of them said that the child who addresses Santa Claus came from Kherson. Two letters indicated that the child had arrived in Simferopol, and two more mentioned the name of the orphanage.

All 14 children were photographed in the same interiors of the "Yolochka" orphanage, which is subordinate to the Crimean Ministry of Health and specializes in working with children with lesions of the central nervous system, mental and behavioral disorders, hearing, vision and HIV.

This institution should educate children in “patriotism and citizenship”, as well as form the idea that “Crimea is in the south of russia”, and “awareness of oneself as a citizen of multinational russia”, according to the “Work Program” of the orphanage for 2021-2025 years.

As "Verstka" notes, the photographs show children from two to five years old. In the report of the action "Become a Santa Claus" there are nine more children of the same age in the rooms of the "Yolochka", including children with disabilities. But where they from is not indicated in the letters.

In 2020, several foster mothers who took children from "Yolochka" into custody spoke to the media about the abuse of children in the orphanage. One of them, Olga Kramnaya, said that at the time of adoption, her two-year-old son weighed six kilograms, could not sit, talk or eat on his own. After a medical examination, according to Kramnaya, the boy was found to have dystrophy, dehydration, rickets and skull deformity.

One of the former employees of the orphanage spoke about the work of nurses who monitored children in "Yolochka": “It’s even inconvenient to repeat what I heard from them:“ Don’t pour juice for children: you leave, and they poop on us. Don't take it in your arms: they will get used to it, the next shift will come, and the child will beg for it. At night they didn’t feed - you need to sleep. No water was given, only mixtures. Night kefir went into bottles for employees.

The leadership of the orphanage denied the allegations. After a resonance in the media, "Yolochka" was inspected by the regional Ministry of Health, the Investigative Committee and the prosecutor's office. According to its results, the departments did not reveal violations and refused to initiate a criminal case.

Kramnaya told "Verstka" that on the second attempt she managed to get the investigation started. “Now it is at the stage of forensic examination. There were many checks, but all these checks were for the most part excursion in nature, so they all did not notice the malnourished children who are still there. Some have already died during this time. Of course, there are not all children of dystrophy. The worst is for palliative children, children with defects and those who have been there since birth there, ”she said.

"Verstka" suggests that the children from Kherson, who were photographed, were transported to Crimea in October 2022 during the evacuation of residents of the Kherson region before the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

On October 21, Kirill Stremousov, then deputy head of the occupation administration of the region, reported that 46 orphans from the Kherson Orphanage were sent to Crimea. At the end of October, writes "Verstka", Irina Klyueva, Commissioner for Children's Rights in Crimea, published photographs from the Simferopol "Yolochka", noting that children evacuated from Kherson live there.

The Ukrainian project “Laboratory of Journalism of Suspicious Interest”, which deals with the forced displacement of children to the occupied territories and to russia, told "Verstka" that they know about the removal of orphans from the Kherson baby house “Kolokolchik”, where children under five years old lived. But Ukrainian human rights activists have no information about "Yolochka".

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