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Russia abducted 2,000 children from Ukraine since New Year – US at OSCE

Russia has abducted as many as 2,000 children from Ukraine into Russia since 1 January and is continuing filtration operations, Michael Carpenter, the US representative to the OSCE has stated.

“In recent weeks, we have seen Russia double down on some of its most despicable behavior in Ukraine.  This includes continuing to forcibly remove children from their families and homes in Ukraine and transfer them to Russia.  Over the New Year, Russia reportedly abducted as many as 2,000 children from Ukraine into Russia under the guise of protecting them from the ongoing violence of Russia’s own war.  We have assessed that Russia’s forces have unlawfully transferred or deported thousands of Ukrainian civilians to Russia from areas that Russia controls as part of its filtration operations in a further grave breach of the Geneva Conventions.”

Additionally, Carpenter said that the occupation authorities in eastern Ukraine are compiling lists of 16-year-olds who will be drafted to join the war when they come of age.

“As for the children Russia allows to remain in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk, local puppet authorities are already reportedly compiling lists of children to join the war when they come of age.  Children born in 2005 and 2006 would now already be subject to compulsory military registration.  This advance planning to use Ukraine’s children as cannon fodder for Russia’s war is – I have no other words – it’s just plain evil.  It would also be a violation of the laws of war for Russia to conscript citizens of Ukraine from the areas Russia occupies.”

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