Yale study denounces Kremlin-coordinated re-education of Ukrainian children | war in ukraine

A study carried out by Yale University, under the Conflict Observatory program, funded by the US Department of State, accuses the Russian Government of implementing and coordinating a program of “re-education” of Ukrainian minors – transferred from the invaded territories of Ukraine – carried out in dozens of specialized camps spread across the Russian Federation.

The authors of the report and the Laboratory of Humanitarian Research of the North American university (HRL, for its acronym in English), identified at least 43 facilities, where more than 6000 Ukrainian children between the ages of four months and 17 years were “deported”. , between February last year and January this year.

The “true number” of camps and minors involved, they add, however, “is probably much higher”.

Among the children in question are orphans, minors who were sheltered in Ukrainian state institutions before the Russian invasion, minors whose custody was “undetermined or uncertain” because of the war and even minors with living parents or a defined family guardian.

Some of these children have meanwhile been transferred to Russian host families, says the study.

As for the location of the fields, it is practically transversal to the vastness of Russian territory. There are installations of this nature around the Black Sea, on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea – annexed by Russia in 2014 – and on the outskirts of Russian cities such as Moscow, Kazan and Yekaterinburg. But also in Siberia and the Far East.

The report says that the farthest Russian “re-education camp” is located in the Magadan region, next to the Sea of ​​Okhotsk – geographically closer to the US territory (Alaska) than to Ukraine.

“The illegal transfer and deportation of protected persons is a serious breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention [1949] on the protection of civilians and constitutes a war crime,” warned the US Department of State in a announcement released on Tuesday.

In a message published on Telegram, cited by Reuters, the Russian embassy in Washington DC assured, however, that Moscow only accepts “children who were forced to flee Ukraine” because of the war – which Russian authorities call “operation special military”.

According to the Yale University report, “at least 32 (78%) of the camps identified by the Yale HRL appear to be implicated in systematic re-education efforts exposing children from Ukraine to Russian-centered academic, cultural, patriotic, and/or military education.” .

The program, guarantee the researchers, is “centrally coordinated at the highest level of the Russian Government”.

“Multiple Russian Federation-sponsored camps are promoted as ‘integration programs’, with the purported aim of integrating Ukrainian children into the Russian Government’s vision of national culture, history and society,” they explain.

“The Yale HRL identified several dozen federal, regional, and local figures directly involved in operationalizing and politically justifying the program. The activities of the leaders involved in the operation include logistical coordination (such as the transport of children, for example), fundraising, collection of supplies, direct management of the camps and promotion of the program within Russia and in the occupied areas of Ukraine”, they list.

According to the report, these individuals include at least 12 people who are not yet on the US government’s sanctions list.

On Tuesday, however, Ned Price, spokesman for the Department of State, hinted that concrete measures will be taken against these people: “We are always looking for individuals who may be responsible for war crimes and atrocities in the United States. Ukraine.”

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