Thousands of Ukrainian children have been forcibly transferred from Russian-occupied territories to facilities in Belarus, a new report from Yale University has said.

The US State Department said the report concluded the operations were “at the highest levels of [the Belarus and Russian] governments and facilitated by each country's security forces and ultranationalist militant groups.”

“These children are relocated to Belarus or Russia, potentially without the consent of their families or a clear path to return home,” the State Department said.

It added that the United States would continue to pursue accountability for actors “involved in abuses connected with Russia's war against Ukraine.”

According to the Yale Humanitarian Research Lab, a program partner, more than 2,400 children between the ages of six and 17 have been transported from Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine to Dubrava and 12 other facilities in Belarus, where many undergo political and cultural re-education and military training to serve the political interests of Belarus and Russia, Ukrinform reports.

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The report also finds that officials involved in these relocation operations target children from vulnerable populations, including children with disabilities, children from low-income families, children with military parents, and purported orphans.

Members of Russia's military and government have deported hundreds of thousands of Ukraine's civilians to Russia, including children who have been forcibly separated from their families.

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