U.S. unaware of fate of Ukrainian children taken to Russia, Belarus - State Department

U.S. unaware of fate of Ukrainian children taken to Russia, Belarus - State Department

The United States does not know whether children taken from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia and Belarus are subjected to any kind of exploitation, but Washington continues to monitor this issue very closely.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said this at a briefing on Monday, November 20, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"Belarus is complicit in Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. It is not a disinterested third country providing safe haven for children in conflict," he said.

He recalled that according to official data released last week, more than 2,400 Ukrainian children between the ages of 6 and 17 have been transported to facilities in Belarus since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, these operations have disproportionately targeted vulnerable children, including purported orphans, children with disabilities, children from low-income families, and children with members of Ukraine's military, Miller said.

Read also: Russian army wounds 1,146 children in Ukraine

"Our information is limited. We don't know whether the children who are deported to Russia or Belarus are being exploited further, but they remain highly vulnerable, of course, to human trafficking," Miller said.

He also noted that the United States continued to monitor this matter very closely.

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