Ukraine has claimed 150 children have been illegally taken to Russia from the Moscow-held territories in the Luhansk region. The horrific abduction would have taken place on June 8, the National Resistance Centre of Ukraine said.
A chilling statement released on Thursday read: “On 8 June, 150 children from the Starobilsk district, Luhansk Oblast, were illegally taken to Lesnoy and Sosenka health and recreation centres in the Prikuban district of Russia’s Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
“These centres are expecting up to 750 children from the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk Oblast to arrive in June.
The statement also went on to claim that Ukrainian children on the occupied territories are being forced to undergo “comprehensive preventative medical exams”.
If these examinations, described as a “sham” deprived of any medical quality, are failed by the children, the youngsters are then sent to the Russian Federation for “rehabilitation”, Kyiv alleged.
The statement also claimed: “The Russian government has allocated 1.5billion roubles (£14million) to this procedure, which amounts to kidnapping Ukrainian children.”
Kyiv claimed 19,393 youngsters have so far been illegally transferred to Russia from Ukrainian territories fallen into Moscow’s hands since the war began.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky first mentioned that Ukrainian children were being forcibly transferred to Russia on the eve of the 100th day of conflict.
He said in June 2022: “These are orphans from orphanages. Children with parents. Children separated from their families.
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“The purpose of this criminal policy is not just to steal people, but to make deportees forget about Ukraine and not be able to return. But we must find a solution to this challenge as well.
“And ensure that all those who killed, tortured or deported Ukrainians are held accountable.”
In April, 30 children were reunited with their Ukrainian families following one of the several operations focused on bringing home the abducted youngsters.
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One of them 13-year-old girl Dasha, recalled agreeing with her twin sister to leave the Russian-occupied city of Kherson last year because of the war and go to a holiday camp in Crimea for a few weeks.
However, she said that once arrived they were told by Russian officials they would stay longer and be adopted.
Moscow has denied abducting children and says they have been transported away for their own safety.
In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, accusing them of the “unlawful deportation” of children from Ukraine.
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