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Interfax Ukraine: 75 Ukrainian children tortured by Russian forces, prosecutor says

by Dinara Khalilova August 31, 2023 7:33 PM 2 min read
The basement of a school in Yahidne, Chernihiv Oblast, where 367 residents were kept in a basement by Russian forces for 27 days in February-March, 2022. (Photo: President's Office)
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Ukrainian prosecutors discovered that Russian forces had tortured 75 children throughout the full-scale invasion, Interfax Ukraine reported on Aug. 31.

Most cases of torture took place in Chernihiv Oblast's village of Yahidne, which was under Russian occupation for about a month, a Prosecutor General's Office representative told Interfax in an exclusive interview.

According to the head of the Department for Protection of Children's Interests and Anti-Violence, Yuliia Usenko, Ukrainian authorities have opened 3,200 criminal cases over Russia's crimes against children.

"These include murders, mutilations, child abduction, forced displacement, deportation, sexual violence against children, attacks on institutions and facilities for children," Usenko said, adding that kidnapped children had often been tortured and illegally detained.

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During the occupation of Yahidne at the beginning of the all-out war, Russian troops kept 367 residents in a school's basement for 27 days. Fifty children were among the hostages, and eleven people in total died, according to the President's Office.

"The conditions in which the children were (held) together with adults in the school's basement and their treatment equated to torture," the official added.

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Except for Yahidne, prosecutors also reportedly recorded isolated cases in Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts when children were detained and tortured.

According to Usenko, the occupiers claimed that the affected children had allegedly provided the Ukrainian military with information about the movement of Russian military equipment.

The prosecutor emphasized that Ukrainian authorities had received reports of torture and other crimes already after the territories' liberation, including 13 cases of sexual violence against children.

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