By Imran Khan • 15 February 2023 • 7:48
More than 6,000 Ukrainian children held by Russia for re-education, says US report
Photo by Denys N Shutterstock.com
According to a US-backed report, more than 6,000 Ukrainian children are being held in Crimea as well as other parts of Russia, for the purpose of ‘politically re-educating them’.
This has been claimed by researchers from Yale University, who have identified at least 43 camps along with other facilities, where children from Ukraine are being held.
The report also states that they are being held as a part of a “large-scale systematic network operated by Moscow since its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine”.
“The primary purpose of the camp facilities we’ve identified appears to be political re-education,” Nathaniel Raymond, one of the researchers of the report, cited by Reuters.
As per their research, “The children included those with parents or clear familial guardianship, those Russia deemed orphans, others who were in the care of Ukrainian state institutions before the invasion, and those whose custody was unclear or uncertain due to the war”.
The report states that some children have also been adopted by Russian families or have been moved into foster care.
Research also revealed that the youngest child held in the Russian program was only four months old.
Raymond added that “some camps were giving military training to children as young as 14 years”, but said that so far, no evidence has been found that suggests that the trained children were deployed to fight the war.
Following the release of the report, a statement was released by the Russian embassy in Washington that said, “Russia accepts children who were forced to flee Ukraine”.
It added, “We do our best to keep underage people in families, and in cases of absence or death of parents and relatives – to transfer orphans under guardianship”.
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