Inessa (right) meets her son Vitaly after the bus delivering him and more than a dozen other children back from Russian-held territory arrives in Kyiv on March 22. More than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the Feb. 24, 2022 invasion, according to Kyiv, with many allegedly placed in institutions and foster homes. (Photo: AFP)
There is a moral obligation for those who claim to be people with humanitarian values and commitments or to be Christian. They must stand for justice and truth and against evil and violence.
When we are confronted with the evidence of evil, the violation of the right to life and the well-being of hundreds of thousands of children, we must act to stop evil. The more silent we stay, the worse it gets.
Silence is consent, giving approval by doing nothing, saying nothing and allowing crimes to be committed with impunity. Child sexual abuse, abduction, trafficking, and extra-judicial killings, all are heinous crimes against humanity.
We have to tell the untold, speak the unspeakable and challenge evil by doing good and strive to make this a better world. We strive to live lives that bring goodness and truth and justice to victims of abuse and violence. Yes, we have to speak the unspeakable.
The dictator with the killer instinct gets so powerful no one can stop him. He creates a ring of protectors around him so he can commit violence with impunity. The maniac tendencies cause untold and unspeakable crimes.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was a shock and a disaster for the world as it unleashed a horrific war where civilians are bombed in their homes, shot dead on the streets by death squads or starved to death.
"To lose your home, parents, friends, schoolmates and relatives, and be taken to a foreign country is a severe traumatic event for a child"
Perhaps the most evil of the many war crimes committed by Russian troops and Vladimir Putin is the forced abduction and deportation of thousands of children from Ukraine to Russia.
These are children separated from their parents and grandparents. Some are orphans caused by the Russian bombing atrocities that killed their parents in their homes and they, the children, are being taken away like the spoils and booty of war. They are captured and taken in mass deportation to the land of the enemy.
This is a war crime and the International Criminal Court has made a judgment saying so and issued an arrest warrant for the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, whereby he could and should be arrested in any country he travels to.
As many as 16,221 children were ordered to be deported to Russia, according to Ukrainian officials. These forced deportations "violate international humanitarian law and amount to a war crime," says the UN Commission that is investigating the mass deportations.
To lose your home, parents, friends, schoolmates and relatives, and be taken to a foreign country is a severe traumatic event for a child. They are deprived of the love, care and security provided by loving parents. It is a shocking trauma for a child causing pain and hurt and longing that lasts a lifetime. They are taken away, not knowing if they will live or die.
An investigation by the United Nations shows that not only are the children abducted against their will but they force the children to accept Russian citizenship. They are making the children their property and exercising total power and authority over them so their parents or the Ukrainian state cannot rescue them and take them back.
The UN Commission investigators said that the Russian authorities are “creating a framework whereby some children may end up remaining permanently” in Russia. It is not only kidnapping but it is a regime that is holding them in human bondage.
The researchers discovered that barriers are in place to prevent communication between children and parents. They found "an array of obstacles in establishing contact."
Further research by the Humanitarian Research Lab at Yale's School of Public Health said in a report that "all levels of Russia's government are involved" in the deportation of children from Ukraine.
"Children interned in camps are like prisoners and are being indoctrinated with pro-Russian propaganda"
"We have identified at least 43 facilities in this network of camps, institutions that are holding Ukrainian children or have held Ukrainian children. This network stretches from one end of Russia to the other," said Nathaniel Raymond, head of the research project.
These forced deportations “violate international humanitarian law and amount to a war crime," concludes the UN report.
The information discovered is that the children interned in camps are like prisoners and are being indoctrinated with pro-Russian propaganda turning them against their parents and their Ukrainian heritage.
In the Humanitarian Research Lab Report, Raymond said, "The primary purpose of the camps appears to be political re-education," but he also said that some of the children were transferred to foster homes to be adopted. Instead of returning to the parents, they are being "placed with Russian foster families or in some form of adoption system."
This seems to be an act of genocide to eliminate Ukrainians in the conquered, occupied part of Ukraine by stealing their children to repopulate Russia where there’s a fall in population by 1.3 million and likely loss of another 500,000 young men fighting in Ukraine.
These children have no protective families. They are with strangers, many of whom could be pedophiles and for sure many of these kidnapped children will be vulnerable and many sexually abused since world statistics show that one in every six boys suffers sexual abuse at least once in their lifetime and one in every three girls is sexually abused.
How much more in danger are the unprotected, vulnerable children in these camps and detention centers taken by families whom they don’t know? That seems to be the diabolical plan of Putin to capture the whole of Ukraine and make it Russian as he claims there are no Ukrainians and all are Russian. He is starting by brainwashing the children to turn them into Russians complete with passports and re-education.
Putin’s evil plans were stopped short by the extraordinary courage and bravery of the Ukrainian army and civilians. He presumed they would surrender after three days of invasion and Russia would rule again from Kyiv.
But Putin is bogged down. He is failing to conquer Ukraine and can’t get out of the war without losing face and being overthrown in Russia. Whatever his political and military woes, the world must demand the release of the detained and stolen children and they must be returned to their parents and to their Ukrainian families.
*The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.