More than 2,000 Ukrainian children have allegedly been “kidnapped and deported to Russia ”, an act that has been called a “gross violation” of international law.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared the damning update in a Facebook post, which accused the “aggressor state” of Russia of kidnapping children.
The post read: “According to the information received, on March 19, Russian occupation forces illegally took 2389 children to the territory of the Russian Federation, who were in the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“Forced relocation of civilian population to the territory of the aggressor state, in particular children, has signs of kidnapping.
“Such actions are a gross violation of international law, in particular international humanitarian law.”
The MFA carried on to say that by “destroying homes and killing parents”, Russia deprives Ukrainian children of parental care and puts their lives in further danger.
An urgent response from the international community is needed, the statement said, to stop the barbaric war against the Ukrainian people.
It continued: “The facts of kidnapping children, as well as hundreds of other facts of crimes by Russian occupiers against civilians in Ukraine, are carefully documented by law enforcement.
“The culprits of these crimes will be brought to justice.”
The abduction or illegal removal of children during a period of conflict is one of the six “grave violations” named and condemned by the UN Security Council.
These six violations make up the basis of the Council’s framework to monitor, report and respond to abuses suffered by children in times of war.
This comes days after Kremlin was accused of war crimes against children for bombing a Ukrainian theatre in Mariupol, which was housing a number of youngsters.