Relatives identify Russian children in Iraq as RT coverage goes viral

© Family Handout

People claiming to be relatives of the children shown in RT coverage from an Iraqi orphanage have contacted the news outlet after the video went viral.

The heartbreaking RT video from an orphanage in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, was shared on the Instagram page of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Wednesday evening. Since then the footage has gathered more than 250,000 views in less than a day.

"These children speak Russian. They don't have parents. They don't remember their names, but recall pain, fear and death... Maybe someone can recognize these children," Kadyrov wrote.

Earlier, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan raised awareness of the issue, calling for people to email [email protected] if they recognized the children. Her call was then followed by Kadyrov.


RT has received calls from people who say they recognize children seen in the video. One woman says she is the aunt of one of the boys seen in the footage, and contacted RT via Instagram. She said that the boy's parents took him to Iraq when he was only one and a half years old. His father was killed in fighting, while his mother could not be reached for at least 10 months.

© Family Handout

RT has received photos of the children seen in the video from people who say they are relatives. RT offers its assistance in contacting the necessary authorities to conduct procedures on proof of kinship.

These children are innocent'

People who were touched by the video wrote on Kadyrov's page that if no one claimed the children, they would be ready to take them into their families.

"I would take a little girl [to my family]," "These children are innocent," "They don't have parents. Just take them home," people wrote.

Others moved by the video once again criticized the atrocities of war which leave children abandoned. "No money or power is worth the tears of these children,"one person wrote. Another said: "Please help these children come back home."

Russian authorities are now seeking the return of several dozen children from Iraqi orphanages. Earlier in August, a four-year-old Chechen boy, Bilal Tagirov, was brought back to Russia after living with his jihadist father, who was fighting alongside Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Mosul.

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