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Russia creates camps for political "re-education" of kidnapped Ukrainian children

15.02.2023, 14:37

In Russia and occupied Crimea, there is a network of at least 43 institutions where kidnapped children from Ukraine, ages ranging from 4 months to 17 years, are being ideologically re-educated.

This is shown by an investigation by the Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab within the framework of the Conflict Observatory project, the BBC writes.

Since February 24, at least 6,000 Ukrainian children have been put in these camps. The real numbers, according to the Yale HRL, could be much higher.

"Primary purpose of the camps appears to be political re-education: At least 32 (78%) of the camps identified by Yale HRL appear engaged in systematic re-education efforts that expose children from Ukraine to Russia-centric academic, cultural, patriotic, and/or military education," the researchers write.

Most of these institutions are in Crimea, about 10 more are located near large Russian cities, such as Moscow, Kazan or Ekaterinburg. There are also such camps in Siberia and the Far East.

According to the HRL, the facilities where the children from the war zone were sent also include a psychiatric hospital and family centers.

The children are being sent to Russian camps under the pretext of "evacuation" or rehabilitation. Among them are children who used to live in Ukrainian orphanages (although they are not necessarily orphans), as well as children who live with their families, the researchers write.

After the camps, the children from orphanages are often put tp for adoption in Russia, and other children are not returned to their parents for various reasons. They are left in the camps for a longer period than agreed – from several weeks to several months, writes the Yale HRL.

As IMI reported, a court in Barnaul, Russia, sentenced RusNews journalist Maria Ponomarenko to six years in prison. She was found guilty of spreading fakes about the Russian army.

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