Russian propaganda creates fake stories about children in ranks of Ukraine’s Armed Forces

Russian propaganda creates fake stories about children in ranks of Ukraine’s Armed Forces

Fact Check
Propagandists are also attempting to discredit Plast and other Ukrainian patriotic organizations

Russian media and Telegram channels are spreading a fake story about the Hitler Youth (a Nazi youth paramilitary organization consisted of boys aged 10-18 - ed.) in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Firstly, the participation of minors in the war is impossible under Ukrainian legislation, namely according to the law "On Military Duty and Military Service". Citizens aged 18-60 who are able to perform their military duty are subject to mobilization. In addition, to become a member of a voluntary formation, one must reach the age of majority.

Secondly, the propagandists used a photo of deceased 18-year-old Ukrainian soldier Maksym Tkach and passed him off as a minor. A photo distributed by propagandists is on the left, and on the right is a photo published on Facebook by Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration, to pay tribute to Maksym Tkach.

Thirdly, the Russian propaganda actively discredits Ukrainian patriotic organizations. The Plast organization confirmed its non-involvement in the training and recruitment of children for further joining the Armed Forces of Ukrainian.

In a comment to Ukrinform, Head of the Plast Supervisory Board Yuriy Yuzych has said that Plast has not recorded a single case of direct participation in hostilities by minor Plast memebers either officially or unofficially.

"In the current war, among the hundreds of Plast male or female members fighting in the Defense Forces of Ukraine today, there is not a single minor. These are mostly adult educators who, due to Russia’s full-scale offensive on February 24, were forced to leave their usual professions, work with children, and stand up for the defense of the Motherland. We are grateful to them for their courage and love for Ukraine," he explained.

The propagandists also wrote that the Prava Molod organization allegedly sends children aged 14-16 to the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, distributing a photo of a "16-year-old boy".

Ukrinform managed to contact the young man whose photos were added to the fake post. He said he was 19 years old.

Dmytro Badrak

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