| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

UN adds Russia to list of shame for killing children in Ukraine

According to a source obtained by Reuters, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called out Russia on Thursday for murdering 136 children in Ukraine in 2022, adding its military forces to a global list of criminals.

The UN further confirmed that Russian military troops and allied organizations wounded 518 children and attacked 480 schools and hospitals. According to the report, Russian soldiers allegedly deployed 91 youngsters as human shields.

Russia has denied targeting civilians since it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

The report also verified that Ukrainian armed forces killed 80 children, maimed 175 children and carried out 212 attacks on schools and hospitals. The Ukrainian armed forces are not on the global offenders list.

Guterres said in the report that he was “particularly shocked” by the high number of children killed and maimed and attacks on schools and hospitals by Russian armed forces.

He also said he was “particularly disturbed” by the high number of such offenses against children by Ukrainian armed forces.

Russia’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Guterres’ annual report to the 15-member Security Council on children and armed conflict covers the killing, maiming, sexual abuse, abduction or recruitment of children, denial of aid access and targeting of schools and hospitals.

The report was compiled by Virginia Gamba, Guterres’ special representative for children and armed conflict.

Gamba last month visited Ukraine and Russia, where she met with Russia’s envoy for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova – whom the International Criminal Court wants to arrest on war crimes charges.

The International Criminal Court last month issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lvova-Belova, accusing them of illegally deporting children from Ukraine and the unlawful transfer of people to Russia from Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, 2022.

Moscow said the warrants were legally void as Russia was not a signatory to the treaty that established the ICC.

The U.N. report on children and armed conflict verified the abduction of 91 children by Russian armed forces; all of them were subsequently released. The report also verified the transfer of 46 children to Russia from Ukraine.

Moscow has not concealed a program 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.

  • Reuters