War in Ukraine: the odyssey of some Ukrainian parents to rescue 6 of their adopted children from a city destroyed by Russia

  • By Nina Nazarova and Kateryna Khinkulova
  • BBC World Service


The meeting was really emotional.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, the outbreak of war caused the separation of the parents of six of their adopted children. And learning that forced adoptions were taking place in Russia, they feared they would never meet again.

When the invasion began, the first thoughts of Olga Lopatkina went to her six adopted children who were visiting the coast, 100 km from home, in a municipal holiday home near the sea.

Quickly it became too dangerous to go pick up to the children, given the heavy bombardment in the cities along the route from their home to where they were.

Olga was faced with an impossible choice: send her husband Denis on a dangerous journey to rescue them or leave the children in Mariupol, where they had gone to rest.