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Russians use educational organizations to deport Ukrainian children

Russians use educational organizations to deport Ukrainian children Russians continue to smuggle children from the occupied territories of Ukraine (photo: Getty Images)

The invaders in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine continue to use educational organizations to facilitate the temporary deportation of Ukrainians to the Russian Federation, reports the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

It is noted that between December 8 and 18, six Ukrainian families went on a "vacation" to Sochi with the public education organization Znannya. The families were probably "evacuated" by the invaders from the city of Kherson before Russia's withdrawal from the right bank of the Kherson region in November 2022.

Earlier, ISW assessed that Russia's "evacuation" of the civilian population of Kherson and Kherson region in 2022 was part of a larger scheme to further relocate large numbers of Ukrainians to Russian-controlled territory, in clear violation of international law.

Islamization of occupied eastern Ukraine

Meanwhile, according to the Institute for the Study of War, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is using the religious leaders of his regime to expand religious influence in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

On December 19, Kadyrov said that a delegation led by Chechen Grand Mufti Salah Mezhiyev visited the temporarily occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where he held a Friday prayer namaz in the temporarily occupied Mariupol.

Mezhiyev reportedly visited Chechen militants operating in Ukraine and met with leaders of Muslim communities of the terrorist Donetsk People's Republic. He provided them with humanitarian aid and attended a competition at a local madrassa in the temporarily occupied Luhansk region.

"Russian occupation authorities have long used religion as a tool to increase social control of occupied areas of Ukraine, and Russia is likely relying on Kadyrov and Chechen authorities to cater to Muslim communities in occupied areas that may not be as receptive to efforts by the Russian Orthodox Church to consolidate occupational control," reads the ISW report.

Crimes of Russians in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine

According to the National Resistance Center, Russians continue to abduct Ukrainians living in the temporarily occupied territories on a massive scale. In this way, the invaders are trying to strengthen the repressive regime in disloyal regions.

According to the latest data, the invaders have taken about 20 thousand underage children from the temporarily occupied territories. They were transferred to Russia or to the territory controlled by Russia without the consent of their families or guardians, which is a war crime.

These facts led to the International Criminal Court issuing arrest warrants in March 2023 for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and the Commissioner for Children's Affairs Maria Lvova-Belova.