Ideological and Military-Political Propaganda: Shaping the Minds of Deported Children in Russian Federation’s PVRs

Russia is actively militarizing Ukrainian children in “temporary accommodation centers” (TACs) on its territory while simultaneously Russifying the educational process. According to human rights organizations, between 260,000 and 700,000 Ukrainian children were forcibly deported between 2022 and 2024. 

Deportations were carried out using several methods. First, orphans were deported in groups and transported by bus to Russian border towns. Second, children were taken with their parents to filtration camps where they underwent “filtration,” which included photographs, fingerprinting, and copying the contents of mobile phones. The procedure was accompanied by psychological pressure and family separation. In addition, parents were pressured to sign documents for the transfer of their children.

Currently, deportations are taking place under the pretext of “health improvement.” The children are promised a return in a few weeks but remain in Russia in the TACs. Decree No. 349 of 12 March 2022 obliges 83 regions of the Russian Federation to accept almost 96,000 people, allocating 1.4 billion rubles for this purpose.

TACs, located in schools, sports complexes, or kindergartens, are often overcrowded and lack adequate conditions. They are guarded by the military and host “cultural programs” that include reinterpretations of history focusing on the “common history” of Ukraine and Russia. Children are shown propaganda films and programs aimed at demonizing Ukraine and glorifying Russia. 

The psychological pressure and uncertainty of their situation cause fear and anxiety among children. They do not know how long they will stay in the TACs, what will happen to them, and whether they will be able to return home. This environment has long-term negative consequences for children’s psychological health, affecting their ability to adapt, learn, and socialize.

Russia massively involves Ukrainian children in military and patriotic exercises to create a future mobilization resource for the Russian army. The programs, which hide behind the slogans of “patriotic education” and “physical development,” are aimed at military training and ideological indoctrination, forming loyalty to Russian military culture. 

Military-patriotic education is integrated into school curricula and extracurricular activities. For example, in Simferopol, there are about 50 cadet classes located in 15 educational institutions. Under the auspices of military structures, they prepare students for civilian and military service, including a detailed study of Russian history and military training.


Military-patriotic camps in the occupied territories teach children tactics, survival techniques, weapons handling, and military strategy. For example, the ‘Warrior’ center and the ‘Yevpatorian Landing Force’ provide intensive military training courses for young people.

These camps also spread the image of the “enemy” in the face of Ukraine and Western countries, shaping children’s perceptions of international relations.

For example, the Union of Cossack Youth of Crimea and Sevastopol, part of the Crimean Cossack District of the Black Sea Cossack Army, organizes military and patriotic clubs, sports tournaments, shooting competitions, relay races, and sports competitions under the names Young Defender of the Fatherland and Service to the Glory of the Fatherland. Participants compete in shooting, disassembling, and assembling Kalashnikov rifles, loading magazines with ammunition, and throwing grenades for accuracy.

Russia actively involves children in military parades and other propaganda events, such as the Victory Trail quest and the event in support of the special military operation in Yevpatoria. These events reinforce children’s sense of pride and loyalty to the Russian military machine.



Subscribe for our news and update

Sports events are used to prepare children for military service. Famous athletes, such as Olympic champion Varteres Samurgashev, hold masterclasses to promote military and patriotic values.

The ideological and military-political propaganda carried out in temporary accommodation centers (TACs) in the Russian Federation profoundly impacts deported Ukrainian children. Through systematic re-education, Russified education, military training, and psychological pressure, Russia is trying to form children’s loyalty to the Russian state and its military machine. 

Forced deportation, family separation, inadequate living conditions, and intense propaganda leave deep scars on young people, limiting their vision of the future and leading them to support Russian military policy. 

To protect children’s rights, international attention must be drawn to these violations, and appropriate measures taken to ensure their return home, as well as to support their psychological recovery and reintegration into Ukrainian society. The continuation of deportations and ideological indoctrination poses a serious threat to the future generation, which has the right to a peaceful childhood and upbringing in its own cultural and national identity.


Anastasiia Saienko, author
Oleksii Havryliuk & Maksym Sushchuk, editors


This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Program implemented by Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. Opinions, conclusions and recommendations presented in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government. The contents are the responsibility of the authors. USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience, and advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity. USAID has partnered with Ukraine since 1992, providing more than $9 billion in assistance. USAID’s current strategic priorities include strengthening democracy and good governance, promoting economic development and energy security, improving health care systems, and mitigating the effects of the conflict in the east. For additional information about USAID in Ukraine, please call USAID’s Development Outreach and Communications Office at: +38 (044) 521-5753. You may also visit our website: http://www.usaid.gov/ukraine or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USAIDUkraine.