Ombudsman: Ukrainian children held in 57 regions across Russia

Ombudsman: Ukrainian children held in 57 regions across Russia

Ukraine's authorities have currently recorded the residence of our children, abducted by the Russian Federation, in 57 regions of Russia.

Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said this during the presentation of the special report by the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights " Unbloomed. Violation of the rights of Ukrainian children in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and in Russia: deportation, militarization, indoctrination", an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"We officially recorded the residence of Ukrainian children in 57 regions of the Russian Federation. In 16 regions, at least 380 children became victims of forcible transfer to Russian families. Cases of abduction of children by the Russian military in the temporarily occupied territories for the purpose of intimidation, pressure on relatives, and intelligence data collection were recorded also," he said.

Lubinets added: it has been established that Russian service members use pressure or possible violence against children to force adults to work for the benefit of the Russian army or occupation authorities.

Kateryna Rashevska, the lawyer of the Regional Center for Human Rights, informed that, according to their data, the Russians take about 100 children every day starting from June 15, 2023 – sometimes a little less, sometimes several times more – to so-called "re-education" camps.

"That's why the number of children [abducted by the Russian Federation] is increasing, and Russia does not really want to return them," she said.

The Ombudsman cited data from law enforcement agencies that the Russian Federation involves minors in the armed conflict in the role of spies, fire spotters, and also involves them in campaigns of forced mobilization of Ukrainian citizens in temporarily occupied territories, sometimes even as actors for propaganda videos.

According to him, many tools are used to recruit children. For example, the so-called rest in "military-patriotic camps", membership in the young army and other "military-patriotic" movements.

"Actually, there are a lot of them. They differ in name, are launched in the territory of different federal subjects of the Russian Federation, but all have the same characteristics. That is, their goal is the maximum involvement of Ukrainian children in the so-called patriotic movements and the popularization of the military of the Russian army," Lubinets said.

The Commissioner informed that, according to the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations, five criminal proceedings have been registered to investigate the use of minors in the armed conflict since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As reported, the Office of the Ombudsman currently has official data on 365 illegal adoptions of Ukrainian children in the Russian Federation.

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