A chartered plane from Iraq landed in Moscow on October 11, with five children from Chechnya and Dagestan on board. The children’s parents had joined up to fight for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq several years ago.
The children were accompanied by Ziyad Sabsabi, Presidential Plenipotentiary for Chechnya. They were met in the airport by Children’s Rights Commissioner Anna Kuznetsova and Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on his Instagram page that three Chechen brothers and two Dagestani sisters had returned to Russia.
‘The boys are between four and six years old. The children’s father was killed, and the mother, along with her four-month-old girl, is in prison in Iraq. We are taking measures to liberate her [the child]’, Kadyrov wrote.
As for the two girls, one is four months and the other about three years old. Their parents are dead.
Upon arriving in Moscow, the children were examined by doctors. Kuznetsova said they would need psychological rehabilitation. According to of the Office of the Children’s Rights Commissioner, 445 children from Russia are now in Iraq and Syria.
Daghestan’s commissioner for children’s rights, Marina Yezhova, told OC Media the exact number of children in the warzone is difficult to determine.
‘There is an official figure, but it is approximate. We only know about those who were taken away from here. But we don’t know how many were born there. Therefore, the official figure could be multiplied by three’, she said.
Over the past two months, four women and 16 children from Russia and Kazakhstan have been returned from Syria and Iraq.