The abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia is a genocidal crime.

Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, signed up for the Genocide Convention. However, Putin has been indifferent to international laws or norms of any kind in his bid to eliminate Ukraine’s democracy and its people. He and other Russian officials involved in genocidal crimes against children should be held accountable.

Despite the fact that war is chaotic, unpredictable, and devastating to children caught in it, it is not an excuse to seize children from their parents and home country, as Russia is currently doing in Ukraine. The 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide specifically prohibits abduction. The removal of Ukrainian children from Russia and the brainwashing attempts to eradicate their language and culture are examples of a genocidal crime that must be prosecuted.

On Dec. 24, 2018, Robyn Dixon and Natalia Abbakumova of the Post reported on a Russian scheme to send Ukrainian children to far-flung cities within the country. According to President Vladimir Putin’s decree in May, Russian citizens may adopt Ukrainian children more readily. Russian children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova is ‘vigorously pursuing’ this policy, which involves eradicating Ukrainian identities and teaching them to love Russia, as reported by Lvova-Belova and the journalists. Lvova-Belova says they initially denounced Putin when they arrived in Russia, but then they ‘fall in love with Russia.’ Kremlin has been extensively publicizing the removals, including photos and videos on its website and state TV.

The number of kids seized is not yet confirmed, but Daria Herasymchuk, Ukraine’s top children’s rights official, has estimated that Russia has abducted around 13,000 Ukrainian children without their parents.

Check out this chilling video of the Russian FSB hunting children. 

It appears that a violation of the convention has occurred, which prohibits destroying an ethnic, racial, national, or religious group. The convention also prohibits moving children away from their group to another one. According to international law experts, the genocide convention also prohibits destroying a group’s culture, language, and religion, including that of children. The Lvova-Belova and Putin revelations about assimilating Ukrainian children into Russia and eradicating their culture prove that they were trying to commit genocide as defined by the convention.