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Article about Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska taking 350 children from Bakhmut ‘under his wing’ briefly appears on his website before vanishing

Source: Meduza
Update: According to Oleg Deripaska’s press team, the article described in this news story, which they referred to as a “gross fake press-release,” was the result of a hacker attack on the billionaire’s website. The team added that Deripaska “unequivocally condemns the separation of children from their parents” and that he is “one of the very few prominent Russian industrialists who openly criticizes the fratricidal war and consistently advocates for peace in Ukraine, as well as a reduction in global military spending.”

An article appeared on the website of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska on Tuesday that said the businessman’s foundation, “Volnoe Delo,” had “taken patronage” over children who had been transported to Russia from Bakhmut. The post has since been removed from the site, but a copy remains on the Internet Archive.

The text, titled “Oleg Deripaska’s foundation takes 350 children from destroyed Artemovsk under his wing,” said that the oligarch had decided to help more than 350 children who have already been sent from Bakhmut to summer camps in Russian-annexed Crimea. From there, it said, they would be sent to Russia’s Krasnodar region, where Deripaska grew up.

The material also said the foundation would provide the children with food and material assistance “during their vacation in Crimea and later in temporary detention facilities before their distribution to families on Russian territories.” The foundation vowed to publish a full list of the children on its site, adding that “in the future, the parents or legal guardians will be able to reunite with them on Russian territory.”

In addition, the article said that many of the children are currently “in serious condition and are afraid to even speak in Russian.” Out of the 350 children, it added, only 70 of them had been “declared psychologically healthy,” but it said the foundation would provide therapy for them.

Oleg Deripaska and the Volnoe Delo foundation had not commented on the post at the time of publication.

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