Digest

Bi-Weekly Digest 4

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  • June 27: In the temporarily occupied territories of the Zaporizhia region, children in preschool camps are forced to write letters to the Russian invaders. Such facts were recorded, in particular, in Berdiansk and Melitopol, reports the National Resistance Center. This is evidence of deliberate brainwashing in order to change the national identity of Ukrainian children in the temporarily occupied territories.
  • June 25: Russian occupiers in Berdiansk killed two teenagers, Tyhran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov. In September 2022, the boys were kidnapped by the occupiers, accused of terrorism, and kept in a special detention center for their “anti-Russian position,” where they were tortured. Previously, Tyhran was beaten right in front of his grandmother. We facilitated publications in the international media, where Tyhran’s mother anonymously told his story. Despite the appeals, the boy was not allowed to return to the territory controlled by Ukraine and reunite with his mother.
  • June 24: Russian security forces have started to implement document checks on local Ukrainian teenagers in occupied Mariupol, according to a June 24 report from Ukraine’s Center for National Resistance.
  • June 23: According to the National Resistance Center, from the end of May to the first days of June, another 600 Ukrainians from the temporarily occupied regions were deported to the Rostov region of the Russian Federation. These are people from Debaltseve, Dokuchaevsk (Donetsk region) and Starobilsk (Luhansk region). It is there that the distribution camps are located, where residents are held before deportation.
  • June 18: The Russian occupying forces have taken almost 300 children from the Berdiansk district in Ukraine to the Russian republic of Chuvashia, the exiled mayor of occupied Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, reported on Telegram. “They [Russian forces] are sending children 1,600 kilometers from home deep into Russia,” Mayor Fedorov said. “Next, they will manipulate the situation in the Berdiansk direction and keep children in Russia as hostages.”
  • June 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin falsely told a visiting delegation of African leaders that Russia is not forcibly deporting Ukrainian children, but rescuing them from war atrocities. He added that there are no obstacles for the abducted children’s parents to take them back or come to live with them in Russia. 
  • June 15: Russia abducted 150 children from the occupied Luhansk Oblast and took them to Russia, the National Resistance Center of Ukraine reported.
  • June 15: the European Parliament adopted a resolution, demanding Russia to cease the proceedings against the children and allow them to leave for Ukraine-controlled territory under the facilitation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
  • June 12: Prosecutor General of Lithuania Nida Grunskene started a pre-trial investigation into the possible criminal transfer of Ukrainian children to Belarus.

Advocacy advances

  1. On Children’s Day, the Ukrainian Association of South Africa (UAZA) held a protest, urging the South African authorities to intervene and ensure that Russia faces consequences for forcibly removing Ukrainian children. The activists demanded justice in this matter.
  2. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly recognized Russia’s crimes against Ukraine as genocide, and declared the terrorist regime in the Russian Federation “ruscism “, said the head of the permanent delegation of Ukraine to the PACE Alliance, Cherniev.
  3. The Office of the Ombudsman together with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak opened the Child Rights Protection Center. The center will work with children who have become victims of crimes or witnessed them. At the facility, appropriate specialists will receive information from children and their families, conduct a medical examination, provide necessary assistance.

Materials we facilitated

Experts on the topic

  • Liudmyla Illarionova, Communications Manager, Media Initiative for Human Rights
  • Anastasiia Vorobiova, Analyst at the Center for Civic Education “Almenda”. Expert on the topic of how Russia violates the right to education during the occupation, how Russia destroys the identity of Ukrainian children in the occupied territories
  • Mykyta Petrovets, Lawyer at Regional Centre for Human Rights. Expertise: children, deportations, international humanitarian law
  • Natalia Okhotnikova, NGO ZMINA. International and national justice mechanisms, criminal process and protection of human rights, all about the ECHR (general issues and cases related to the Russian-Ukrainian war and Maidan), enforced disappearance of activists during a full-scale invasion
  • Alyona Lunyova, advocacy manager, expert on human rights and deportations, NGO Zmina and “Ukraine. 5 am Coalition”.
  • Dmytro Lubinets, The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman)
  • Daria Herasymchuk, official adviser to the President of Ukraine on childrenʼs rights and child rehabilitation
  • Nadiya Volkova, founder and director Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group

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