Maria Lvova-Belova

Last updated

Pavel Kogelman
(m. 2003)
Maria Lvova-Belova
Мария Львова-Белова
Mariia Alekseevna L'vova-Belova (cropped).jpg
Lvova-Belova in 2020
Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of Russia
Assumed office
27 October 2021
Children23 [lower-alpha 1]

Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova (Russian : Мария Алексеевна Львова-Белова [mɐˈrʲijəɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvnəlʲvəvəbʲɪɫəvə] ; born 25 October 1984) is a Russian politician. She has been the Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights since October 2021, when she was appointed to the position by Russian president Vladimir Putin.


On 17 March 2023, the International Criminal Court, amidst an ongoing investigation, issued arrest warrants for Putin and Lvova-Belova. Her charges concern her role in the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. [2]

Early life and education

Lvova-Belova was born into a Russian family in Penza, a city in the Russian SFSR of the erstwhile Soviet Union, on 25 October 1984. She graduated from the A. A. Arkhangelsky College of Culture and Arts as a conductor in 2002. [3]

Political career

Activities between 2011 and 2021

From 2011 to 2014 and 2017 to 2019, she was a member of the Civic Chamber of Penza Oblast, the latter term overlapping one in the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. [4] In 2019, she was elected co-chair of the All-Russia People's Front regional headquarters. [5]

In 2019, Lvova-Belova joined the United Russia party (the ID card was given to her on 23 November by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev). On 24 November, she was elected to the Presidium of the General Council of the United Russia, and she became the co-chair of the working group to support civil society. In September 2020, reelected governor of Penza Oblast Ivan Belozertsev appointed her to the Federation Council of Russia from Penza Oblast's executive branch. [6] After the 2021 snap election, she was reappointed by Oleg Melnichenko.

On 27 October 2021, Russian president Vladimir Putin appointed Senator Maria Lvova-Belova as the federal Commissioner for Children's Rights, one month after previous commissioner Anna Kuznetsova became an MP. [7]

Russian invasion of Ukraine (2022–present)

Deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia

Lvova-Belova meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in March 2022, one month into the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Vstrecha s Upolnomochennym po pravam rebionka Mariei L'vovoi-Belovoi 03.jpg
Lvova-Belova meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in March 2022, one month into the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Lvova-Belova has publicly shown her support for the program of abducting Ukrainian children to Russia, being present at an event in Moscow where 14 Ukrainian children received their Russian identity papers in July 2022. [8] In September 2022, she reported that a group of children from Mariupol had at first shown their resistance by singing the Ukrainian national anthem, but had soon learned to "love Russia". [8] Ukrainian and British officials accused her of supervising the forcible deportation and adoption of children from Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. [9] [10] Russian programs to transfer Ukrainian children to Russia and re-educate them as Russians had begun in 2014. [11]

International sanctions and ICC arrest warrant

She was sanctioned by the United Kingdom in June 2022, by the European Union in July 2022, by the United States in September 2022, and by Japan in January 2023. [12] [13] [14] [15]

A warrant for Lvova-Belova's arrest was issued by the International Criminal Court on 17 March 2023, which alleges she is responsible for the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia during the invasion; a similar warrant was issued for Putin. [2] [16]

Personal life

Lvova-Belova has been married to Pavel Kogelman, a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church and formerly a programmer, since 2003. [17] [4] They have five biological and eighteen adopted children. [18] [19] The former were born in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2018. [4] In February 2023, she adopted a 15-year-old boy from Mariupol, which The Moscow Times said would likely spark outrage due to the concurrent deportation program. [19] [2]


  1. 5 biological, 18 adopted

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vladimir Putin</span> President of Russia (1999–2008, 2012–present)

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is the president of Russia. Putin has held continuous positions as president or prime minister since 1999: as prime minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012, and as president from 2000 to 2008 and since 2012. He is the longest-serving Russian or Soviet leader since Joseph Stalin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penza</span> City in Penza Oblast, Russia

Penza is the largest city and administrative center of Penza Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Sura River, 625 kilometers (388 mi) southeast of Moscow. As of the 2010 Census, Penza had a population of 517,311, making it the 36th-largest city in Russia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sergey Lavrov</span> Russian diplomat (born 1950)

Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov is a Russian diplomat who has served as the foreign minister of Russia since 2004. He is the longest-serving foreign minister since the Tsarist era.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mongolia–Russia relations</span> Bilateral relations

Mongolia–Russia relations have been traditionally strong since the Communist era, when the Soviet Union supported the Mongolian People's Republic. Mongolia and Russia remain allies in the post-communist era. Russia has an embassy in Ulaanbaatar and two consulates general. Mongolia has an embassy in Moscow, three consulates general, and a branch in Yekaterinburg. Both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Costa Rica–Russia relations</span> Bilateral relations

The bilateral relations between Costa Rica and Russia date back to 1872, when Costa Rican president Tomás Guardia and Emperor of Russia Alexander II exchanged correspondence. Relations were not formally established until 1944, at the final stages of World War II, when the Russian Empire was already succeeded by the Soviet Union.

A children's ombudsman, children's commissioner, youth commissioner, child advocate, children's commission, youth ombudsman or equivalent body is a public authority in various countries charged with the protection and promotion of the rights of children and young people, either in society at large, or in specific categories such as children in contact with the care system. The agencies usually have a substantial degree of independence from the executive, the term is often used differently from the original meaning of ombudsman, it is often an umbrella term, often used as a translation convention or national human rights institutions, dealing with individual complaints, intervening with other public authorities, conducting research, and – where their mandate permits them to engage in advocacy – generally promoting children's rights in public policy, law and practice. The first children's commissioner was established in Norway in 1981. The creation of such institutions has been promoted by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and, from 1990 onwards, by the Council of Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anna Kuznetsova</span> Russian politician

Anna Yuryevna Kuznetsova is a Russian politician serving as Member and Deputy Chair of the State Duma since 2021. Previously, she was Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation between 2016 and 2021.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Russian war crimes</span> Violations of the laws of war committed by the Russian Federation

Russian war crimes are the violations of the international criminal law including war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide which the official armed and paramilitary forces of Russia are accused of committing since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. These accusations also extend to the aiding and abetting of crimes which have been committed by proto-statelets or puppet statelets which are armed and financed by Russia, including the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic. These war crimes have included murder, torture, terrorism, deportation or forced transfer, abduction, rape, looting, unlawful confinement, unlawful airstrikes or attacks against civilian objects, and wanton destruction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isobel Yeung</span> British journalist

Isobel Yeung is a British long-form documentary senior correspondent. She has covered a variety of stories concerning major global issues such as ongoing world conflicts, terrorism, mass detention, and genocide. She has also reported on social issues in developing countries such as gender roles, women's rights, mental health and corruption. Her work has earned her two Emmy Awards and a Gracie Award.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tomoko Akane</span> Japanese jurist and judge

Tomoko Akane is a Japanese jurist and a current judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Japan, as well as the president of the court.

The 2021 Penza Oblast gubernatorial election took place on 17–19 September 2021, on common election day, coinciding with election to the State Duma. Acting Governor Oleg Melnichenko was elected for his first term.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Russian invasion of Ukraine</span> Ongoing military conflict in Eastern Europe

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014. The invasion became the largest attack on a European country since World War II. It is estimated to have caused tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilian casualties and hundreds of thousands of military casualties. By June 2022, Russian troops occupied about 20% of Ukrainian territory. From a population of 41 million in January 2022, about 8 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced and more than 8.2 million had fled the country by April 2023, creating Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. Extensive environmental damage caused by the war, widely described as an ecocide, contributed to food crises worldwide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">War crimes in the Russian invasion of Ukraine</span> Russian war crimes in Ukraine

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Russian military and authorities have committed war crimes, such as deliberate attacks against civilian targets ; indiscriminate attacks on densely-populated areas ; abduction, torture and murder of civilians; forced deportations; sexual violence; destruction of cultural heritage; and mistreatment, torture and murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">International Criminal Court investigation in Ukraine</span> Ongoing investigation opened in 2022

The International Criminal Court investigation in Ukraine or the Situation in Ukraine is an ongoing investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into "any past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed on any part of the territory of Ukraine by any person" during the period starting "from 21 November 2013 onwards", on an "open-ended basis", covering the Revolution of Dignity, the Russo-Ukrainian War including the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, the war in Donbas and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ICC prosecutor commenced these investigations on 2 March 2022, after receiving referrals for the situation in Ukraine from 39 ICC State Parties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Allegations of genocide of Ukrainians in the Russian invasion of Ukraine</span>

During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, national parliaments including those of Poland, Ukraine, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ireland declared that genocide was taking place. Scholars and commentators including Eugene Finkel, Timothy D. Snyder and Gregory Stanton; and legal experts such as Otto Luchterhandt and Zakhar Tropin, have made claims of varying degrees of certainty that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine. A comprehensive report by the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights concluded that there exists a "very serious risk of genocide" in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Russian filtration camps for Ukrainians</span> Camps used to forcibly displace Ukrainians to Russia

Filtration camps, also referred to as concentration camps, are camps used by Russian forces during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine to register, interrogate, and detain Ukrainian citizens in regions under Russian occupation before transferring them into Russia, sometimes as part of forced population transfers. Filtration camp detainees undergo a system of security checks and personal data collection. Detainees are subject to widespread torture, killings, rape, starvation and other grave human rights violations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Child abductions in the Russo-Ukrainian War</span> Forced Russian adoption of Ukrainian children

During the Russo-Ukrainian War, Russia has forcibly transferred almost 20 thousand Ukrainian children to areas under its control, assigned them Russian citizenship, forcibly adopted them into Russian families, and created obstacles for their reunification with their parents and homeland. The United Nations has stated that these deportations constitute war crimes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for their alleged involvement. According to international law, including the 1948 Genocide Convention, such acts constitute genocide if done with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation or ethnic group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">International Criminal Court arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova</span> 2023 International Criminal Court warrant

On 17 March 2023, following an investigation of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights, alleging responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation and transfer of children during the Russo-Ukrainian War. The warrant against Putin is the first against the leader of a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Alexei Petrov is a Kremlin official, aide to Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sergey Kobylash</span> Russian naval officer

Sergey Ivanovich Kobylash is a Lieutenant general and Commander of the Long-Range Aviation branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces.


  1. "Lvova-Belova Maria Alexeyevna". United Russia party. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 "Putin arrest warrant issued over war crime allegations". BBC News. 17 March 2023. Archived from the original on 17 March 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  3. "Уполномоченный по правам ребенка в РФ Мария Львова-Белова. Досье" [Commissioner for Children's Rights in the Russian Federation Maria Lvova-Belova. Dossier]. Argumenty i Fakty (in Russian). 27 October 2021. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 "Lvova-Belova Maria Alexeyevna". PenzaNews. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020.
  5. "Kotov, Kazakov and Lvova-Belova elected as co-chairmen of the Penza headquarters of the ONF". PenzaNews. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020.
  6. "Сенатором от Пензенской области назначили директора социальной НКО Марию Львову-Белову" [Director of a social NGO Maria Lvova-Belova was appointed Senator from the Penza region]. TASS (in Russian). 21 September 2020. Archived from the original on 6 October 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  7. "Путин назначил Марию Львову-Белову уполномоченным по правам ребенка" [Putin appointed Maria Lvova-Belova Commissioner for Children's Rights]. TASS (in Russian). Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  8. 1 2 Boy, Ann-Dorit; Petrov, Fedir; Sarovic, Alexander (17 April 2023). "The Abducted Children of Ukraine: Kidnapping as a Weapon of War". Der Spiegel . ISSN   2195-1349 . Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  9. "Invaders deport children from Mariupol and Volnovakha to Rostov Oblast, Russia: they want to turn them into Russian citizens". Ukrayinska Pravda. Archived from the original on 2 June 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  10. Quinn, Allison (16 June 2022). "Putin's Advocate for Child Welfare Is Straight-Up Stealing Kids in Ukraine, U.K. Says". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 19 June 2022. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  11. 1 2 Sumlenny, Sergej (27 March 2023). "How the West Tolerated Russia's Kidnapping of Ukrainian Children". European Resilience Initiative Center . Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  12. "COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2022/1270 of 21 July 2022". Archived from the original on 13 October 2022. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  13. "Japan imposes personal sanctions on 36 Russian individuals". TASS. Archived from the original on 7 February 2023. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  14. "Treasury Targets Additional Facilitators of Russia's Aggression in Ukraine". U.S. Department of Treasury. 15 September 2022. Archived from the original on 18 March 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  15. "UK sanctions Russian linked to forced transfers and adoptions". 16 June 2022. Archived from the original on 16 June 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  16. "Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova". International Criminal Court. Press Release. 17 March 2023. Archived from the original on 17 March 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  17. ""Я уже привык к светской работе и хорошей зарплате, и тут все изменилось» — как успешный программист и отец девяти детей стал священником – Православный журнал «Фома"" ["I'm already used to secular work and a good salary, and then everything changed" - how a successful programmer and father of nine children became a priest - Orthodox magazine "Foma"] (in Russian). 9 April 2021. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  18. "Семнадцать детей будущего министра" [Seventeen children of the future minister]. TASS (in Russian). 6 September 2020. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  19. 1 2 "Putin's Children's Envoy Reveals She Adopted Child From Mariupol". The Moscow Times . 16 February 2023. Archived from the original on 16 February 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
Political offices
Preceded by Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of Russia
Preceded by Senator from Penza Oblast
Succeeded by