Views From the Nation’s Press
The Chicago Tribune on how Putin relocating Ukrainian children is a war crime:
One of Vladimir Putin's strategies during his brutal war in Ukraine has been to ensure Russians only hear his version of reality.
This week, the world learned that he's also applying that tactic to Ukrainian children.
The Russian government has put thousands of Ukrainian children into what the Kremlin pitched as “recreation camps,” but in actuality are re-education facilities aimed at Russifying the children with a pro-moscow lens into Russian culture, history and society, according to a report released by Yale University and the Conflict Observatory, a program created by the State Department to document war crimes committed by Russian forces and their proxies in Ukraine.
The children are between 4 months and 17 years old. Some boys have been given military training, including instruction on driving trucks and handling firearms. Russia began taking Ukrainian children to the camps in February 2022, and as of January relocation of children to the facilities was still happening, according to the report.
Putin was already vulnerable to an array of war crime charges. In the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Ukrainian officials and witnesses found evidence of Russian troops carrying out summary executions of dozens of men in civilian clothes, some with hands tied behind their backs and gunshot wounds to their heads. In the southern city of Mariupol, Russian forces targeted and destroyed a maternity hospital.
This latest inhuman act, however, is uniquely heinous. Putin is turning children into fodder for his own political ambitions.
Though the report documents at least 6,000 children being sent to camps, its authors estimate the numbers could be much higher. Camp locations span from Crimea to southern Russia and Siberia Ukrainian children held at the Magadan camp are at least 3,900 miles away from parents and relatives.