Ukraine accuses Russia of forcibly deporting over 210,000 children

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Ukraine said on Friday Russia had forcibly deported more than 210,000 children since its invasion on Feb. 24 and accused Moscow of wanting to make them Russian citizens.

Human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova said the children were among 1.2 million Ukrainians who Kyiv says have been deported against their will.

Reuters could not independently verify the figure given by Denisova or her allegations, for which she did not provide supporting evidence.

The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Denisova’s allega-tions concerning the deportation of large numbers of children and other Ukrainian nationals.

Moscow has denied intentionally targeting civil-ians since launching what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine and says it is offering humanitarian aid to those who want to leave Russia.

“When our children are taken out, they destroy the national identity, deprive our country of the future,” Denisova said on national television.

“They teach our children there, in Russian, the history that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has told everyone.”

Russia has referred to “refugees” coming to Russia to escape fighting, particularly from the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which is in Russian hands after weeks of siege and bombard-ment.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions, which define in-ternational legal standards for humanitarian treatment in conflict, prohibit mass forcible transfers of civilians during a conflict to the territory of the oc-cupying power, classifying it as a war crime.

Russia plans to activate Articles 5 and 6 of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) to investi-gate the bio-laboratories in Ukraine, Russian Am-bassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said during the UN Security Council meeting on Friday.

“We have already accumulated lots of materials that directly indicate that the United States and Ukraine are violating the BWC. We continue to collect these materials and analyze them,” Nebenzia said. “Given that the American party refuses to en-gage in any constructive discussion on this subject, we plane to utilize the mechanisms stipulated in Articles 5 and 6 of the BWC.”

Nebenzia noted that as soon as all the necessary the materials are collected, Russia will present them to the United Nations for investigation.

Article 5 of the BWC stipulates that “The states, parties to this Convention, undertake to consult one another and to co-operate in solving any problems which may arise in relation to the objective of, or in the application of the provisions of, the Convention.—Reuters

 

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