Russian forces putting Ukrainian children in re-education camps

PHOTO: Russian forces allegedly moved around 6,000 Ukrainian children to re-education camps. (via Euromaiden Press)

A new report describes a dystopian nightmare, alleging Russia snatched thousands of Ukrainian children, intent on reprogramming them. The US-backed report published yesterday revealed that at least 6,000 Ukrainian children, and likely many more, have been held in Russian camps for political re-education.

The report claims that there are at least 43 such camps, mostly in the disputed Crimea region of Ukraine that Russia seized in 2014. The re-education camps are part of a “large-scale systematic network” operated by Moscow since its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The children being held include orphans and those whose custody was unclear due to the war. But children with parents or legal guardians confirmed were also snatched and carted off to these camps. The Russian program also involved moving some children into foster care in Russia, and even into adoption by Russian families.

Children as young as only four months old were found in the camps and children as young as 14 were receiving military training at some of the sites. Investigators have yet to confirm any instances of these teens being deployed into battle though.

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The report was produced by the Yale University School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab as part of a State Department-backed project that has examined human rights violations and war crimes allegedly committed by Russia.

Reuters’ request for comment on the report was not immediately responded to by the Russian Embassy in Washington. Moscow has denied any intention of targeting civilians, referring to its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation.” Russian officials have previously refuted allegations of forced deportations of Ukrainians.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway by Ukrainian prosecutors to build a genocide indictment against Russia. As part of that wider push, they are investigating claims of forced deportation of children to these re-education camps, as well as Russian orphanages and Russian adoptive families.

NATO allies are currently considering providing more arms to Ukraine, as Russian artillery batters Bakhmut in the continuing war, that has been ongoing since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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