Espreso. Global

US releases report on Belarus' involvement in deportation of Ukrainian children

17 November, 2023 Friday

Over 2,400 children from Ukraine aged 6 to 17 were taken to 13 institutions across Belarus following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine


Ukrinform reported the information.

"The Conflict Observatory, a program supported by the US Department of State, today released a report detailing Belarus’s involvement in Russia’s systematic removal of children from Ukraine amid Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war," the State Department said in a statement.

The report concludes that these operations are coordinated at the highest levels of both governments and facilitated by each country’s security forces and ultranationalist militant groups.

The report also finds that officials involved in these relocation operations target children from vulnerable populations, including children with disabilities, children from low-income families, children with military parents, and purported orphans.

This was first reported in a study by Yale University, according to Reuters.

Among the key findings in the 39-page report was that children were transported from at least 17 cities in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. The Yale researchers described this as a regular practice.

Over 2,000 children identified by Yale were transported to the Dubrava Children's Center in the Minsk region of Belarus between September 2022 and May 2023, and 392 children were taken to 12 other facilities.

"Russia's systematic effort to identify, collect, transport, and re-educate Ukraine's children has been facilitated by Belarus. Russia's federal government and Belarus' regime have been working together to coordinate and fund the movement of children from Russia-occupied Ukraine through Russia to Belarus," the report says.

According to the researchers, transportation to Belarus through Russia was "ultimately coordinated" between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

When in Belarus, the children were subjected to military training and re-education, and Lukashenko approved the use of state organizations to transport children from Ukraine to Belarus and to finance their transportation, according to the Yale report.

It is unclear how many of the children identified in the study remain in Belarus.

The findings of the Humanitarian Research Lab at the Yale School of Public Health, which is funded by the US State Department, are the most extensive to date on the role of Belarus in the Russian program of resettlement of Ukrainian children.

Belarus' involvement in the deportation of Ukrainian children

In the context of a full-scale invasion, Russia is deporting Ukrainian children en masse from the occupied territories of Ukraine. They are taken to the occupied Crimea, Russia or Belarus, allegedly for rehabilitation or to rest in camps.

A special report presented by the OSCE on May 4 stated that Russia's forced deportation of Ukrainian children could be recognized as a crime against humanity.

On May 24, the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office reported that Ukraine was investigating the possible role of Belarus in the forced deportation of children from the temporarily occupied territories. Criminal proceedings were opened. 

Ukraine’s Human Rights Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets says Ukraine has confirmation that the forced deportation of Ukrainian children and prisoners of war took place on the territory of Belarus with the participation of the Belarusian authorities. 

Later, evidence emerged of Belarus' involvement in the deportation of Ukrainian children. On June 27, the Belarusian opposition submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court of the involvement of self-proclaimed head of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and his entourage in war crimes.

Later, Pavel Latushko, head of the People's Anti-Crisis Management and representative of the UnitedTransitional Cabinet of Belarus, said that some Ukrainian children from the occupied territories who had been taken to Belarus for "rehabilitation" had not returned. However, the head of the Belarusian Red Cross Society, Dmitry Shevtsov, reacted to this statement and called it "accusations" against Belarus. In response, Kyslytsya asked the UN to respond to the Belarusian Red Cross's admission of deporting children from Ukraine.

On August 11, the self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has confirmed that forcibly deported Ukrainian children are held in his country. He added that Russia, Belarus would continue to take children from Ukraine.

On September 30, it was reported that Belarus plans to organize visits by representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps to the so-called places of residence, education and rehabilitation of children abducted from the regions temporarily occupied by Russia. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the "visits" to Minsk are scheduled for October 4. 

And on October 4, the International Red Cross called on the Belarusian branch of the organization to resign its head, Dzmitry Shevtsov.

Read also:
  • News
2024, Friday
14 June
Canada sanctions 11 Russian individuals, 16 legal entities supporting war in Ukraine
Russia hits bus with drone in Sumy region, injuring three people
Russia claims to have destroyed 87 drones: oil depot allegedly damaged
ISW assesses consequences of strikes on Crimea for Russia
Russian fakes for June 13: selection from Center for Countering Disinformation
Russia's night attack: Ukraine's air defense destroys 24 of 31 air targets
Russian army loses 1,250 soldiers, 48 artillery systems, 8 tanks in Ukraine per day
2024, Thursday
13 June
Victorious news of 841st day of war: 5 destroyed Russian boats, $50 billion for Ukraine from frozen Russian assets
Ukraine, US sign bilateral security agreement for 10 years
Not only procurement, but strengthening production: Stoltenberg on expanding military aid to Ukraine
Ukraine to join NATO's JATEC training centre in Poland - Stoltenberg
Ukraine's IT Army shuts down Russian bank provider - Ministry of Digital Transformation
Russia plans to fill irrigation canals with artesian water after Kakhovka HPP destruction
Japan, Ukraine sign 10-year term security agreement: what it provides for
Russian missile strike on Kryvyi Rih kills 9 people, injures 37 others
Ukraine needs 4.5 million able-bodied citizens to restore its economy - expert
Britain joins United States in sanctioning Moscow Stock Exchange
Ukraine will receive what it needs, assures Lloyd Austin
China lobbies for its 'peace plan' ahead of Peace Summit in Switzerland - media
G7 to allocate $50 billion to Ukraine from frozen Russian assets, confirms German Finance Minister
US to grant Ukraine $100 million military aid package - Lloyd Austin
Russian army amasses reserves in Kharkiv region - Ukrainian military
Switzerland changes draft decision of Peace Summit in Ukraine's favor, number of participants decreases
Who is Ihor Vovchanchyn, whom Oleksandr Usyk will play in film with Dwayne Johnson?
Deploying entire Patriot battery to Ukraine is dangerous - Polish National Security Bureau chief
NATO to step up fight against Russian spies amid sabotage, cyberattacks – Stoltenberg
What will happen to US-Ukraine security agreement if Trump becomes president: diplomat explains
Ukraine has right to strike military facilities on Russian territory, says Stoltenberg
Ukraine's Navy explains why Russian warships visit Havana Port
Ukrainian Defense Forces destroy 5 Russian boats in southern Ukraine
Russia storms 8 times in Pokrovsk direction, ongoing fighting near Kalynove – Ukraine's General Staff
G7 summit start: President Zelenskyy outlines key topics for Ukraine
Russian offensive plans in northern Ukraine thwarted, reserves being deployed
Norway to provide Ukraine with over $45 million worth of mortar ammunition
Russia accused of using starvation "tactics" in Mariupol in 2022 - human rights activists
Next ICC warrant against Putin could be for Mariupol famine - Mariupol official
Ancient stolen painting found by Ukrainian Border Guards after 20 years of Interpol search
NATO's Stoltenberg calls China's aid to Russia key in war against Ukraine
Ukrainian Armed Forces hit Russia's latest P-416GM communication station first time in history
Britain to announce $309 million aid for Ukraine at G7 summit
More news