Kremlin Rejects U.N. Report on Child Detentions in Ukraine; Says Army Saved Children News2america

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin on Wednesday dismissed allegations by the United Nations that Russia had violated children’s rights in Ukraine and said that, on the contrary, its armed forces were rescuing children from conflict zones.

One report, released on Tuesday, accused Russia of detaining more than 800 civilians, some of them children, and of executing 77 civilians since the conflict began in February of last year.

In another report, commissioned by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for the U.N. Security Council and published last week, Russia stands accused of having killed 136 children in 2022.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a regular briefing that Moscow “firmly rejects” such accusations.

“Our military, repeatedly risking their own lives, took measures to save children, to take them out from under shelling, which, by the way, was carried out by the armed forces of Ukraine against civilian infrastructure,” he said.

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Russia regularly rejects accusations of human rights abuses in Ukraine and also denies deliberately targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation”.

Tuesday’s 36-page U.N. report, based on 70 visits to detention centres and more than 1,000 interviews, also said that Ukraine had violated international law by arbitrarily detaining civilians, but on a considerably smaller scale.

In last week’s report, compiled by Virginia Gamba, Guterres’ special representative for children and armed conflict, the U.N. also verified that Russian armed forces and affiliated groups had maimed 518 children and carried out 480 attacks on schools and hospitals during 2022.

Russian armed forces also used 91 children as human shields, according to the report.

The International Criminal Court in March issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow’s envoy for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, accusing them of the war crime of illegally deporting children from Ukraine.

Moscow said the warrants were legally void as Russia was not a member of the ICC.

Russia has not concealed a programme under which it has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but presents it as a humanitarian campaign to protect orphans and children abandoned in the war zone.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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