From LINK>The Guardian – At least 6,000 children from Ukraine have attended Russian camps aimed at re-education in the last year, with “several hundred” held there for weeks or months beyond their scheduled return date, Russia has also unnecessarily expedited the adoption and fostering of children from Ukraine in what could constitute a war crime. Children as young as four months living in the occupied areas have been taken to 43 camps across Russia, including in Moscow-annexed Crimea and Siberia, for “pro-Russia patriotic and military-related education.”
In at least two of the camps, the children’s return date was delayed by weeks, while at two other camps, the return of some children was postponed indefinitely. Russia’s effort has been to provide a pro-Moscow viewpoint to children through school curricula as well as through field trips to patriotic sites and talks given by veterans.
Videos published from the camps by the occupying regional authorities show children in the camps singing the Russian national anthem and carrying the Russian flag. In separate videos, teachers, employed to teach the children, talk about the need to correct their understanding of Russian and Soviet history. Children were also given training in firearms even though here was no evidence they were being sent back to fight.
Russia is seeking to deny and suppress Ukraine’s identity, history, and culture. Russia has systematically used a government-wide effort to permanently relocate thousands of Ukrainian children to areas under Russian government control via a network of 43 camps and other facilities. In many cases, Russia purported to temporarily evacuate children from Ukraine under the guise of a free summer camp, only to later refuse to return the children and to cut off all contact with their families.
Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights in Russia, is quoted as saying that 350 children had been adopted by Russian families and that more than 1,000 were awaiting adoption. The number of children sent to the camps is “likely significantly higher” than the 6,000 confirmed. Ukraine’s government recently claimed that more than 14,700 children had been deported to Russia.