NewsRussia accused of new wave of deporting 40,000 Ukrainian children

Russia accused of new wave of deporting 40,000 Ukrainian children

They want to deport 40,000 Ukrainian children. "Genocide"
They want to deport 40,000 Ukrainian children. "Genocide"
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Anadolu, Narciso Contreras

9:32 AM EDT, May 29, 2024

Russians are preparing for another wave of deportations of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories of Ukraine. Under the guise of summer vacations, they plan to transport around 40,000 children deep into Russia, warns the Institute for the Study of War, citing official reports from the occupation authorities. Many of these children may not return home and will be put up for adoption in Russia. "The forcible transfer of children belonging to one group to another group is genocide," reminds the ISW.

The Russians are planning to transport approximately 40,000 Ukrainian children from the occupied territories of Ukraine this summer, reports the Institute for the Study of War, citing statements from Russian authorities.

The leader of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), controlled by the Kremlin and located in eastern Ukraine, reported that Russian regions would "receive" over 12,000 children from the occupied Luhansk region this year. The Russian program "Useful Holidays" will also finance trips for 40,000 children who will "visit" Russia as part of summer camps and educational activities. There are also plans for summer camps in occupied Crimea and Russia. Over the entire summer, more than 600 children from territories of Ukraine occupied by Russia will "stay" there.

ISW conveyed that an unspecified number of children from the occupied Kherson region will be sent to the "Okean" camp in Primorsky Krai in eastern Russia, closer to Alaska than to Ukraine. Young Ukrainians will participate in an "educational, sports, and cultural program" there. Additionally, 575 children from the Kherson region are set to attend three-week summer camps in Crimea and the Russian republic of Adygea. Russian government budgets will fund their stay.

"Elements of the crime of genocide"

The Ministry of Education and Science of the LPR reported that an unspecified number of young people from the occupied Luhansk region will participate in the military-patriotic sports camp "Avangard" in the Volgograd region in Russia. They will be trained in engineering and military tactics, fire prevention, parachuting, communications, national security basics, drone operation, and tactical medicine there.

ISW emphasized that despite Russian attempts to portray summer camps for Ukrainian children as recreational and educational trips, they are a vital element of Russia's campaign to deport Ukrainians, including children, to Russia. The think tank reminded us that the forcible transfer of children from one ethnic group to another constitutes elements of the crime of genocide.

Ukrainian children deported to Russia for such "vacations" or "summer camps" undergo a Russification program. Its main goal is to isolate them from their Ukrainian families, language, culture, and history, the think tank added.

Russia has already abducted over 20,000 Ukrainian children

"The international community should strengthen sanctions for the illegal abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia; Kyiv counts on Poland's involvement in this issue," said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk in an interview with PAP.

"We have over 4,000 orphans that they have transported to Russia. They are being adopted and placed under care, their names are changed, and their data is altered," she informed us.

According to Kyiv, since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started in February 2022, Russia has abducted almost 20,000 Ukrainian children. Only 388 have been recovered, based on data published on the Children of War website, managed by the Ministry of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, headed by Vereshchuk.

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