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Children are not the only ones being abducted by Russia

Jul 23, 2023 | News, Ukraine, Featured

Oleg Andreev with his daughter Janin Andreeva after managing to escape his Russian captors

Elderly and vulnerable Ukrainians left in agony after being taken into Russian territory, Telegraph investigation reveals

Verity Bowman

Elderly and vulnerable Ukrainians were taken into Russian territory, stripped of their citizenship, forced to give blood and left in agony from botched medical procedures, a Telegraph investigation has found.

The senior citizens were placed in the Russian care system after Vladimir Putin’s forces occupied their hometowns and villages in the early stages of the war.

Those who managed to escape back to Ukraine have told how they were “treated with disdain” and abused.

Putin, the Russian president, has been accused of war crimes for the illegal deportation and mistreatment of children. But little is known about elderly, vulnerable adults and the disabled who were taken into the Russian system when they invaded.

The Telegraph spoke to elderly and disabled Ukrainians, as well as relatives who rescued their family members from behind enemy lines.

‘Barely anything human in them’

Oleg Andreev, 65, who is paralysed, was taken by Russian invaders occupying his village in eastern Ukraine.

After heavy Russian shelling, he was discovered in a burnt-out building lying next to his mother, who was killed in the bombing.

Mr Andreev said his wheelchair was stolen by a Russian soldier, who used it for an injured comrade.

He was taken to a care facility in Makiivka, occupied Donetsk, where staff “treated us with disdain”.

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