TV Rain: Ukrainian children taken to Belarus for summer holidays are not being brought back

Some of the Ukrainian children from the Russian-occupied territories that had been sent for summer holidays to Belarusian camps have disappeared in Russia, TV Rain reports, citing the head of the National Anti-Crisis Management and representative of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus Pavel Latushko.

He said that human rights defenders have been identifying Ukrainian children taken to Belarus. As of now, they have identified 16 orphans. “But that’s just the beginning. Unfortunately, we think there are around 200 of them,” Latushko added.

In June, the secretary for the Union State of Russia and Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev stated that around 2,000 children from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” (“DPR” and “LPR”) went on a “holiday” to health resorts in the Minsk region, with the permission from their parents or guardians.

“The latest data we have is on orphans who were not returned to the occupied territory of Ukraine. And they’ve disappeared, their trail’s gone cold on the territory of the Russian Federation. We can’t report information on where they are currently,” Latushko said.

He did not clarify the number of Ukrainian children who might have gone missing this way.

Belarusian opposition politicians say that the children are being placed in at least three health-oriented children’s camps. One of them is the Dubrava camp located 150 km away from Minsk. The video in which Belarusian performers, The Gruzdev Sisters, wish death upon Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky from the stage, was taken at this camp.

The European Parliament deputies previously called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue a warrant order for Alyaksandar Lukashenka — among other things due to his part in unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

On 17 March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. They are accused of unlawful deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

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