Russia has established at least 70 camps where deported Ukrainian children are forcibly “re-educated,” according to Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

The camps are located not only in Russia, but also in the occupied territories of Ukraine, including Crimea.

Lubinets spoke on Ukrainian national TV and described the military training and indoctrination as compulsory, “so Ukrainian children have no choice to participate or not.” The children are propagandized “in order to deprive them of their national identity.”

The commissioner reported that there are thousands of children in such camps. Girls as well as boys participate in the training program, where they are taught to disassemble a Kalashnikov assault rifle, sing Russian songs, and prepare for a military career.

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The Russians do this “to raise a new generation of Russian servicemen from among Ukrainian children,” who in the future” should fight against Ukraine or other states,” Lubinets added.

He described how Russian instructors tell children that Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation never existed.

“Russians deliberately commit actions that are aimed at the forced transfer of children from one ethnic group to another,” Lubinets said. “This is one of the hallmarks of genocide as a war crime.”

He also noted that many international experts working on the issue of documenting war crimes claim that they still cannot find conclusive evidence of genocide as defined by the UN Genocide Convention.

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Nevertheless, Lubinets stressed that all the efforts of the state are aimed at ensuring the Russians begin to return Ukrainian children. There are already new mechanisms for finding children in Russia.

“I cannot disclose the details, but the facts we are now receiving from the temporarily occupied territory and from the territory of the Russian Federation are broader – we have more evidence, information, and we have the opportunity to establish the involvement of Russian officials who took or are involved in the process of forced deportation of Ukrainian children,” he added.

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According to the Center for National Resistance (CNR), Moscow propagandists want to hold a briefing for foreign journalists on Oct. 16, aimed at trying to justify the abduction of Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories. The key goal is to whitewash the image of Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvov-Belova.

On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a warrant for the arrest of Lvov-Belova and Vladimir Putin for the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children.

The Russians hope to attract financial and organizational resources for an information campaign aimed at European countries. They plan to produce a number of propaganda materials.

The CNR is urging foreign journalists not to fall prey to the Russian propaganda machine and always check the information relayed by Russian officials and so-called journalists.

“The kidnapping of Ukrainian children is one of the signs of genocide against the Ukrainian people!” the CNR said, referring to Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which defines the forcible transfer of children from one ethnic group to another with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as evidence of genocide.

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“These children continue to be in Russian orphanages and Russian families, where they are brainwashed, and thus assimilated,” the CNR added.

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