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ISW: Russian reportedly threaten to seize occupied Luhansk Oblast’s newborns if parents lack Russian citizenship

Previously, Russian authorities started confiscating property if locals in occupied areas didn’t obtain Russian citizenship
Russia bombs hospital in Ukraine
Pregnant women and newborns evacuate from a maternity ward destroyed by a Russian airstrike in Mariupol on 9 March 2022. Photo: Azov / Telegram
ISW: Russian reportedly threaten to seize occupied Luhansk Oblast’s newborns if parents lack Russian citizenship

In the Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast, mothers in hospitals are being threatened with having their newborn children taken away if neither parent can prove they have Russian citizenship. This was reported by the Institute for the Study of War, citing a statement by Ukraine’s head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Artem Lysohor.

According to Lysohor, starting from 6 May 2024, mothers giving birth in hospitals in the occupied Luhansk Oblast will be required to confirm Russian Federation citizenship for at least one of the newborn’s parents in order to be discharged from the hospital.

ISW analysts note that such actions, if confirmed, directly violate Article II(d) of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This article defines genocide as “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”

In addition, Russian occupation officials continue their efforts to militarize and indoctrinate Ukrainian youth in the occupied territories. In the so-called “LNR,” they announced the development of a new textbook on the recent history of the occupied Luhansk Oblast in accordance with Russian educational standards. As just the most recent instant, In the occupied cities of Berdiansk and Melitopol in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, 200 children participated in Russian military-patriotic games.

These actions by the occupiers indicate systematic attempts to destroy Ukrainian identity and forcibly Russify the population in the seized territories, which may amount to acts of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

As was previously reported, Russians forced locals who remained in the occupied areas to obtain Russian citizenship. Otherwise people were deprived of their land. In addition, Russia has started its spring consription campaign in the occupied areas as the continuation of its policy to mobilize remaining local population for war effort.

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