Study: Russia put Ukrainian children in re-education camps


Eastern Europe


A child sits in a swing in front of an apartment block partially destroyed by shelling, in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Photo AFP, Sergey Bobok

Russia has detained at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in camps and other facilities that appear to be mainly aimed at political re-education, according to US research.

Those sites are said to be part of a "large-scale systematic network" that Moscow has been running since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

The report comes from the Yale Humanitarian Research Lab, which receives government funding to investigate alleged war crimes and human rights violations by Russia. The researchers from the prestigious Yale University say they have identified at least 43 camps and other facilities spread across Russia and areas under Russian control.

According to research, the campaign violates the Geneva Conventions and could constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide. This reports Bloomberg. At two military-style camps in Chechnya and Russian-occupied Crimea children were taught how to “handle military equipment, drive trucks, and study firearms,” the researchers said. There is no evidence that they were used in the war.


Some Ukrainian orphans were eventually adopted or placed with Russian foster families, but the report said that not all of these children were technically orphans — with some simply coming from families that were “in difficult circumstances.”

Ukraine says Russia deported nearly 15,000 children, but Moscow denies forcibly relocating Ukrainians. One of the investigators speaks of a "clear violation" of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the treatment of civilians in wartime. The investigators rely mainly on satellite images and public information.



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