WASHINGTON — Russian forces have taken at least 6,000 Ukrainian children to camps and facilities across Russia for forced adoption and military training, according to a new report.
The allegations detailed in the 35-page report, such as kidnapping or detaining children, may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity. The allegations were detailed by the Conflict Observatory, a program supported by the US State Department.
The report, entitled Russia’s Systematic Program for Re-education and Adoption of Ukrainian Children, took more than a year to produce. He outlines the Kremlin’s systematic efforts to kidnap children, prevent their return to Ukraine and “re-educate” them for pro-Russian “re-education.”
About three-fourths of the camps appear to be “exposing Ukrainian children to Russian-centric academic, cultural, patriotic, and/or military education…with the apparent goal of integrating Ukrainian children into the Russian government’s vision of national culture, history, and society,” write the authors of the report.
“Consider this report a giant Amber Alert,” Nathaniel Raymond, executive director of Yale University’s Humanitarian Research Lab, told reporters. He added that this is the “most consistent and comprehensive report” published on the subject to date.
Russia has repeatedly denied that its troops committed war crimes or targeted civilian attacks. The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Raymond said researchers at the Conflict Observatory, working with Yale’s Humanitarian Research Lab, have discovered a network of at least 43 camps and facilities where Russian authorities are holding Ukrainian children.
The sites span Russia’s vast territory, as some are in Siberia, near the Ukrainian border or about 13,000 miles from Alaska, according to the report.
“The primary purpose of the camps and facilities we have identified appears to be political re-education,” Raymond said. He added that some sites are dedicated to an accelerated adoption process and others are used as military training centers.
The youngest child in an adoption camp is 4 months old, while the youngest children in the military training camps appear to be around 14 years old, Raymond said.
He added that other sites in Russia are being investigated and the number is believed to be higher than 43. He said all levels of the Russian government are involved in the extensive program.
Earlier this month, Ukraine’s Attorney General Andriy Kostin said regional authorities have registered more than 65,000 Russian war crimes since Moscow invaded Ukraine almost a year ago. Kostin said his teams also documented more than 14,000 Ukrainian children forced into adoption in Russia.
“This is a direct policy aimed at demographic change by cutting out Ukrainian identity,” Kostin told an audience at Washington’s Georgetown Law School.
“These actions are characteristics of genocide,” he added.
Continue reading: Russia has committed more than 65,000 war crimes in Ukraine, prosecutor general says
Last year, the Biden administration said it suspected that between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children, had been arrested and deported from their homes to Russia. At the time, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the behavior could violate international humanitarian treaties and constitute war crimes.
The 1949 Geneva Conventions define international legal norms and safeguards for humanitarian treatment in times of war and expressly prohibit the forced relocation of civilians.
Blinken accused Moscow of ordering the “disappearance” of thousands of Ukrainian civilians who fail the dehumanizing “filter” process of the deportation procedure.
Previously known as large makeshift tents, the filtration camps are initial reception camps where deported Ukrainians are photographed, fingerprinted, handed over their cell phones, passwords and ID cards, and then interrogated and sometimes tortured by Russian authorities.
Continue reading: UN report contains horrific Ukrainian accounts of rapes, torture and executions by Russian forces
Blinken also outlined at the time that there was “growing” evidence that Russian forces were deliberately separating Ukrainian children from their parents, kidnapping children from orphanages, confiscating Ukrainian passports and issuing Russian passports, in “an apparent attempt to break down the demographics of parts.” to change Ukraine.”
Correction: Antony Blinken is US Secretary of State. A previous version misspelled his name.