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Russia attempts to muddy narrative around its war crimes – British Intel

British Intel
British Intel update on the Russo-Ukrainian war. Credit: British Defence Ministry via Twitter.
Russia attempts to muddy narrative around its war crimes – British Intel

Russia weaponizes legislation to muddy the narrative around its own “egregious actions” in Ukraine, British intelligence reported on 22 June in its daily update on the Russo-Ukrainian war.

On 20 June 2023, Russia’s parliament (Duma) voted to create a parliamentary committee to investigate alleged crimes committed by the Ukrainian government against juveniles in the Donbas region of Ukraine since 2014, British intelligence reported.

The Duma is likely responding to the international condemnation of illegal Russia’s deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine since its full-scale invasion, according to British intelligence.

The decision to create a parliamentary committee to investigate alleged crimes in Ukraine is highly likely a form of “lawfare” that contributes to Russian information operations, according to British intelligence.

“Messaging around children’s rights is likely an important communications theme for the Kremlin because alleged child deportations formed the basis of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against President Putin issued in March 2023,” British intelligence concluded in its daily update on the Russo-Ukrainian war.

According to Ukraine’s national database that tracks Ukrainian children forcibly deported to Russia, more than 19,000 kids have been abducted by Russian authorities. The number may be even higher as thousands of abducted kids remain unaccounted for.

ICC arrest warrant for Putin: what’s next, and do we still need a Tribunal? Human rights defender answers

Russia may have already deported between 260,000 and 700,000 minors from Ukraine. Although some responsible parties have already faced EU restrictions for the deportation of Ukrainian children, there is a continued need for further measures to be taken to prevent forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia and to ensure the safe and prompt return of those who have already been deported.

On 17 March 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia, who allegedly oversaw the abduction and forced deportations of Ukrainian children from occupied territories to Russia. Ukraine takes measures to identify, track down and repatriate abducted kids.

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