Czech media: Russia brings suffering and pain to the children of Ukraine

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Czech media reported that in the context of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin is deporting Ukrainian children en masse from temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. They are transported to Crimea, Russia, Belarus, and even South Ossetia, claiming that their transport is for health recovery or entertainment in the camps.

The Ukrainian President’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights and Rehabilitation, Daria Gerasymchuk, said that Russia is using very complex scenarios to transfer Ukrainian children to its territory. One is to place a false medical diagnosis that the child does not actually have. In addition, Russian kidnappers do not hesitate to use other methods, including:

• Killing the parents and then taking the children to Russian territory,
• Remove children directly from their biological families,
• Separating children from their families during so-called screening procedures, and transferring entire private institutions where Ukrainian children live to the Russian Federation;
• Creating very difficult conditions in the occupied territories that are not compatible with the child’s life, and then inviting parents, apparently “voluntarily,” to send their children to so-called health convalescent camps for recovery or rest, from which they do not return to their homes.
Since February 24, 2022, the Russians have forcibly removed about 20,000 Ukrainian children. To this number we can add at least another hundred children from the occupied Ukrainian Crimean peninsula, who were deported and illegally adopted by Russian citizens within the framework of the so-called “Train of Hope” program in the period from 2014 to 2022. These are just statistics. Official data reflects recorded cases of child deportations, and the real data can be much higher. So far, Ukraine has been able to return only 387 children out of the aforementioned 20,000…but what about the rest? What awaits them?
Ukrainian children’s family names are often changed, they are sent to foster families, they are resettled in remote and economically backward regions of the Russian Federation, and everything is done to make it impossible for them to return home. Russia seeks to improve its demographic situation through the forced removal of Ukrainian children. As a rule, children are transported to regions of the Russian Federation where the Slavic population is dying out or to economically neglected regions – Chechnya, Chuvashia, Siberia, the Far East. Ukrainian children in the Russian Federation are subjected to propaganda treatment, taught to hate Ukraine, and false “Russian world” values ​​are inculcated in them. They are being transported not only to Russia, but also to Belarus, where at least 4 so-called “sanitary camps” have been created.
Through the children and young generation deported to Russia from the occupied territories of Ukraine, the Kremlin does its “dirty” work. Russia has established an extensive system of “militarizing” stolen Ukrainian children and is preparing them for war, including participation in subsequent aggression against Ukraine. Kremlin “educators” actively work with Ukrainian children from 4 to 5 years old, erasing their national identity through Russian propaganda. This happens in kindergartens and schools, and such actions are also organized outside school. The Russians create a reality for children in which they show that they must die “for Russia.” Large sums of money are allocated to special “national” programmes, especially in Crimea. Even the Church is involved in the process of “militarizing” children, where unique religious events are held under the control of the occupation authorities (a well-known example is “blessing” the missile that is then used to bomb Ukraine, and this happens in the presence of children).
Let us recall that the deportation of Ukrainian children was the reason for the issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on March 17, 2023 against the Commissioner of the President of the Russian Federation for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, and against Vladimir Putin himself.

Should the terrorist state be subject to additional sanctions and find itself in complete international isolation, this would be a logical step in response to the kidnapping it has legitimized. Every Ukrainian child must be returned to their homeland, and Russia must be held accountable before the law for every case of illegal human deportation and for crimes committed against Ukraine.

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