Russian forces have deported more than 19,000 Ukrainian children

Russia Ukraine War
Children play in a playground in front of missile-damaged buildings ahead of a visit by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Monday March 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Russian forces have deported more than 19,000 Ukrainian children

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Russian forces have deported nearly 20,000 children from Ukraine, the Reintegration Ministry reported on Tuesday.

The National Information Bureau has recorded 19,514 illegally deported Ukrainian children, while about 4,390 children are in temporarily occupied territories and Russia, including orphans and children deprived of parental care.

PUTIN’S ARREST ABROAD WOULD AMOUNT TO ‘DECLARATION OF WAR,’ RUSSIAN OFFICIAL SAYS

The military’s forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russian re-education camps prompted the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants earlier this month for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, whom they said also shared responsibility.

“The accounts of those who had cared for these children, and their fears as to what had become of them, underlined the urgent need for action. We must ensure that those responsible for alleged crimes are held accountable and that children are returned to their families and communities,” ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan, who has visited Ukraine four times since the war began, said when Putin’s arrest warrant was unveiled. “As I stated at the time, we cannot allow children to be treated as if they are the spoils of war.”

While it’s unlikely Putin will ever face trial, the warrant means he could be arrested by any ICC member state should he travel there, though Hungary, a member of the ICC, said it would not arrest the Russian president.

Beth Van Schaack, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, said last May that anyone whom the ICC charges will “enjoy impunity for the end of their days” if they don’t leave Russia.

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“That’s the reality of the situation. There is no international police force who can go and cross sovereign territory and arrest them,” she explained at the time. “However, you know, those of us in this business are playing a long game, and there will be jurisdiction over these individuals virtually anywhere they would go because so many states have incorporated within their domestic penal codes the ability to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or the place of commission.”

A Russian official said Putin’s arrest overseas, which the Biden administration supports, would be tantamount to a “declaration of war.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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