Russia keeps Ukrainian children in a network of camps: Study | War news of Russia and Ukraine

A Yale study supported by the State Department reveals that at least 6,000 Ukrainian children have been sent to re-education facilities in Crimea and beyond.

Russia held at least 6,000 Ukrainian children – and possibly many more – in Russian-occupied Crimea and in Russia itself in acts that could amount to war crimes, according to a new study backed by the United States.

Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Laboratory said they have identified at least 43 camps and other facilities where Ukrainian children as young as four months old were held and whose “primary purpose” appears to have been political re-education.

“Several camps approved by the Russian Federation are advertised as ‘integration programs,’ with the apparent goal of integrating children from Ukraine into the Russian government’s vision of national culture, history and society,” the report said.

Nathaniel Raymond, a Yale researcher, said the policy put Moscow in “flagrant violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Civilians in Wartime and called the report a “gigantic Amber Alert” – referring to US public notices of child abductions.

Russia’s activities since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 “may in some cases amount to a war crime and a crime against humanity,” he told reporters.

The children included those with parents or apparent family guardians, those considered orphans by Russia, others in the custody of Ukrainian state institutions before the invasion, and those whose custody was unclear or uncertain because of the war, the report said.

Some of the children were adopted by Russian families or moved to foster homes in Russia, according to the report.

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, reacting to the reports, said Russia was accepting children who were forced to flee Ukraine.

“We are doing everything in our power to keep minors in families, and in case of absence or death of parents and relatives – to transfer orphans under guardianship,” the embassy announced on the Telegram messaging platform.

The Ukrainian government recently announced that more than 14,700 children had been deported to Russia, more than 1,000 of them from the port city of Mariupol, which had been besieged and nearly destroyed for weeks.

Prosecutors said they were looking into allegations of forced deportation of children as part of efforts to bring genocide charges against Russia.

“This network stretches from one end of Russia to the other,” Raymond said.

The camp system and the adoption of Ukrainian children taken from their homeland by Russian families “appear to be authorized and coordinated at the highest levels of the Russian government,” the report said, starting with President Vladimir Putin and including Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights. .

US State Department spokesman Ned Price suggested action could be taken against 12 people the report said were not yet under US sanctions.

“We are always looking at individuals who could be responsible for war crimes, for crimes inside Ukraine,” he said.

“Just because we haven’t sanctioned an individual to date doesn’t say anything about future actions we might take.”

The report said the children were also trained to handle firearms, although Raymond said there was no evidence they were brought back into combat.

The Yale study was based on satellite images and publicly available accounts. The Humanitarian Research Laboratory operates as part of a State Department-supported project examining human rights violations and war crimes allegedly committed by Russia.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *