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On June 4, the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, we remember the thousands of innocent Ukrainian children who have been killed or are suffering as a result of russia’s military aggression.

Currently, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office, 550 children have been killed and more than 1,354 injured as a result of the hostilities. In fact, there are more child victims, as the statistics do not include those who were in the russian-occupied territories. In addition, 2021 children are considered missing.

On June 4, in Ottawa, in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, the DETY project will organize an exhibit. An abandoned baby carriage, scattered children’s shoes, toys and clothes will testify to russia’s crimes in Ukraine. On the same day, a well-known Ukrainian human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2022, Oleksandra Matviichuk, will speak there. She is fighting for the rights of Ukrainian children forcibly taken to Russia to return home, and her team is cataloguing human rights violations and war crimes in Ukraine. 

Ms. Matviichuk is on a major speaking tour of Canada. She will speak in different cities in Canada this week. At these meetings, visitors will be able to watch the newly released video from our project, “DE TY: Where are you?”.

Ms. Matviichuk will give a talk in Toronto on June 6 and in Winnipeg on June 8-9.

The song “DE TY: Where are you?” is based on the real facts of the unprecedented cruelty of the russian military against Ukrainian children. The word ДЕТИ (meaning kids) was written in large russian letters by Mariupol residents on both sides of the Drama Theatre. People hoped that Russian pilots would read it and not bomb a building with civilians and children. Still, on March 16, 2022, a powerful bomb destroyed the theatre. Hundreds of children and their parents were trapped under the rubble.

If we split the word “ДЕТИ,” we get the Ukrainian question “Де ти? (translated as “Where are you?”). This is how children call for their parents after every rocket attack, and parents of children search for their loved ones in the ruins. 

This is the question asked by relatives of nearly 19,000 Ukrainian children abducted by the Russians and forcibly relocated to russia.

Today, the participants of the DETY project ask the same question to the whole world: to the leaders of countries and ordinary citizens. Where are you? Do not be indifferent to Ukrainian mourning; do not ignore russian crimes. It’s time to show international solidarity with children who live through wars all over the world.

The song “ДЕ ТИ: Where are you?” was written by Leo Wolansky Sr. He recorded this song with Olya Fryz, Leo Wolansky Jr., Ivan Wolansky and Lviv State Academic Male Choral Capella “Dudaryk”. Sound Engineer: Slau Halatyn.

The video uses genuine footage of the theatre in Mariupol destroyed by the Russians, bombed schools and kindergartens, as well as a fragment of a flash mob involving students from the Yuri Lypa Ukrainian Heritage Saturday School in Toronto.

The video is available on the official YouTube channel of the DETY project.

More information about the DETY project can be found on our website.

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