Russia 'militarizing' deported Ukrainian teenagers - Kostin

Russia 'militarizing' deported Ukrainian teenagers - Kostin

There are cases when Ukrainian teenage boys deported to Russia have been forced to participate in militarization programs.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said this during the conference "Russia's War Against Children" in Riga, according to the press service of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office.

"In our proceedings, information on 19,546 children who have been deported by Russia under the guise of 'humanitarian' operations is being verified. These children are not just relocated, but deprived of their Ukrainian identity: they are given Russian citizenship, placed in Russian families, forced to undergo re-education in the Russian language, and are forbidden to speak Ukrainian. Teenage boys are often forced to participate in militarization programs," he said.

Kostin noted that such actions are prohibited by international humanitarian law.

He also added that the UN-led Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine concluded that "in none of the situations considered by the Commission, the transfer of children did not meet the requirements set forth by international humanitarian law."

"The transfers were not justified by security or medical reasons," Kostin said.

He also called for every opportunity to be used to effectively oppose these flagrant violations of international law and return the children home.

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