The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had repatriated 30 babies and toddlers aged between one to three years born to Russian mothers currently jailed in Iraq on terrorism charges.
The Russian Health Ministry said the children had been transferred from Baghdad to Moscow on Monday evening and were immediately admitted to hospitals where they are undergoing comprehensive medical examinations.
Russia has so far repatriated a total of 122 children born to Russian mothers since December 2018, authorities said.
Earlier this month, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Portnikov, warned returning the approximately 2,000 Russian women and their children to the country after they fought in the Middle East.
Earlier in February Tanya Lokshina, Human Rights Watch associate director for Europe and Central Asia, said although “Russia’s human rights record is deeply problematic, but it has done a lot on the issue of returns”.
“Globally, Russia had the most active program to return detainees from Iraq and Syria, notably children,” she added.