More than 2,400 Ukrainian children ages six to 17 have been forcibly relocated to Belarus since the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, according to a study published by Yale University on Nov. 16.
The analysis, reported by Reuters, from the Humanitarian Research Lab at the Yale School of Public Health, which is funded by the U.S. State Department, is described as the "most extensive to date" concerning Minsk’s role in the deportation of Ukrainian children.
Over 2,000 children identified by Yale University were transferred to the Dubrava Children’s Center in Minsk Oblast between September 2022 and May 2023, with a further 392 children placed in other institutions across the country.
The report suggests systematic efforts by Russia to identify, deport, and “re-educate” Ukrainian children have been undertaken with the cooperation of 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 researchers said.
It also states that in Belarus, Ukrainian children are subjected to military training and "re-education." Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko "approved the use of state organizations to transport children from Ukraine to Belarus and finance their transportation," the report further notes.
The exact number of children identified by the study that remain in Belarus is currently unknown.
The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on March 17 for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova for their involvement in the unlawful removal of children from Ukraine to Russia since Feb. 24, 2022.
On April 27, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution recognizing the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide.
According to the Ukrainian state platform Children of War, as of Sept. 27, at least 19,546 children have been deported or forcibly displaced by Russia.
In total, according to the European Parliament, the number of Ukrainian children illegally taken to Russia could reach 16,000 to 300,000. MEPs believe that Russians began taking Ukrainian children back in 2014 when they started their military occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine