Press Releases Nobel Prize Winner Oleksandra Matviichu joins with Avaaz to call for the return of ‘Ukraine’s stolen children’ 

Nobel Prize Winner Oleksandra Matviichu joins with Avaaz to call for the return of ‘Ukraine’s stolen children’ 

**Large scale toy installation in Brussels on anniversary of war will highlight the abduction of at least 6000 Ukrainian children, demand sanctions on 14 Russian officials allegedly responsible, and accountability for Russian war crimes in Ukraine.** 

Photo stunt – large scale toy installation: Avaaz members and Ukrainian refugees will install thousands of kids’ teddy bears and toys at Schuman Roundabout to highlight the reported abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children by Russia. Attendants will be calling on EU, US, UK and Canadian leaders to sanction 14 Russian officials who are among those allegedly responsible for the abductions.

Where:  Schuman Roundabout, Brussels

When: – 5 PM CET on Thursday, February 24th.

Online press conference with 2022 Nobel Prize Winner Oleksandra Matviichuk: We will hold an online Q and A session, focused on how and why President Putin and his accomplices must be held accountable for their illegal invasion of Ukraine and subsequent war crimes.

Attendees include:

  • 2022 Nobel Prize Winner Oleksandra Matviichuk
  • Avaaz Legal Director Nick Flynn

When: Wednesday February 23th at 4pm CET (embargoed until Thursday 6pm CET). 

See RSVP below for registration

The press conference and stunt follow last week’s Yale University report, which found that Russia has taken at least 6000 Ukrainian children from Ukraine – an action that can violate the Geneva Conventions and could constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and is considered a possible element of genocide.

According to the report, children from 4 months to 17 years old have been kidnapped, with many placed in Russian re-education camps and some forcibly adopted by Russian families. Others have even undergone military training. The goal appears to be replacing any childhood attachment to Ukraine with a love for Russia.

Avaaz is calling on the EU, UK, US and Canadian governments to sanction 14 Russian officials allegedly responsible for re-education camps and the abduction of Ukrainian children.

This is part of a year-long Avaaz campaign to ensure the Kremlin is held accountable for the war, including for ongoing documentation of war crimes and crimes of aggression. 1.8 million global citizens worldwide have called for Putin to be put on trial under international law, and last year Avaaz mounted a giant peace sign in Brussels to call for an EU boycott to “Stop Putin’s oil”.



  • RSVP action and or press conference: Please contact to confirm attendance at the stunt
  • In Brussels from Wednesday morning, Andy Legon at is or +34 600 82 02 85

More information about Avaaz:

Avaaz is a global campaigning organization with 70 million members worldwide working passionately to solve the biggest challenges of our time. From defending human rights and protecting democracies, from fighting disinformation to standing up for indigenous rights, ensuring biodiversity protected areas, and pushing governments for urgent climate action, Avaaz has a proven track record of creating powerful visuals at key moments – HERE and HER


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