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National Resistance Center: Russia builds militaristic youth camps in occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast

by Mariia Tril February 9, 2024 9:58 AM 1 min read
Illustrative purposes only: Children stand holding Russian flags in the children's center Artek, run by the Russian government in occupied Crimea, Ukraine, in February 2023. (Artek's press center)
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Russia continues to set up military camps for Ukrainian teenagers in the Russian-occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine's National Resistance Center reported on Feb. 8.

Russian aggression has deeply harmed Ukrainian children and youth, facing abductions, physical peril, and efforts to suppress their identity in "re-education camps" and Russian "foster families."

Moscow plans to open a "center for military-sports training and patriotic education of youth called 'Warrior' based on the 'Iskra' children's health camp," the National Resistance Center said in its Feb. 8 report.

Teenagers will allegedly be taught firearms and engineering training.

Ukraine's National Resistance Center said this is "preparation for service in the Russian army."

The training will allegedly happen under the supervision of instructors from Russia.

Ivan Fedorov, the newly appointed Zaporizhzhia Oblast governor, said earlier that Russia is militarizing residents of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, organizing the collection of drones in some educational institutions in Melitopol.

Russia also allegedly plans to involve primary school students in labor lessons where they would study to assemble drones.

Ukrainians living in Russian-occupied territories face repression due to their desire to educate their children according to the Ukrainian curriculum. Russian authorities are reportedly threatening parents and children and checking their devices for visits to Ukrainian websites.

The Ukrainian military's General Staff reported earlier that Russian authorities threatened parents to take children away and give them to orphanages in Russia if the parents did not comply with the demands of occupying authorities.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion, Russia has abducted over 19,500 Ukrainian children. So far, Ukraine has managed to repatriate 387 of these kidnapped children.

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