This statement was made during her recent visit to Kyiv. Baerbock shared her emotional experience of interacting with the children who were returned from Russia.
She was profoundly disturbed to learn that these young minds were taken to a foreign nation and manipulated into harboring negative sentiments against their own country.
As reported by Ukrainska Pravda, Baerbock emphasized that the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly indicate his lack of moral integrity. She stated that Putin consistently breaches international norms and the fundamental principles of human coexistence.
She passionately appealed to the global community, urging them to recognize the atrocities and said, "so I urge those who still cannot clearly say who the perpetrator is: ‘Look at these crimes and these children! Bringing them back is the first step towards peace.’ This must be done immediately." She stressed that this action must be taken without delay.
Previously, the US Department of State had also voiced their concerns, urging Russia to halt the deportation of Ukrainian children from the territories they occupy. They also demanded the return of those children who had already been deported.
In a significant development earlier this year, the International Criminal Court's Pre-Trial Chamber II had issued arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin. He is suspected of the unlawful deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children.
Such a warrant implies that Putin could face arrest if he travels to any member nation of the International Criminal Court.
Furthermore, in July, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine confirmed that the United States intends to provide evidence of Russian war crimes to The Hague. This decision is seen as a monumental stride towards holding Russia accountable for its violations of international law.