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National Resistance Center: Russia plans to forcibly relocate children from Russian-occupied Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast
Russia is planning to forcibly relocate children from the Russian-occupied city of Horlivka, located near the city of Donetsk, occupied by Russia since 2014, the Ukrainian military's National Resistance Center reported on April 28.
According to the center, Russia plans to forcibly take all of the schoolchildren from Horlivka at the end of the school year under the pretext of "evacuation." The center said the parents will be taken with their children. It is not clear where the children and their families will be taken.
"The Russians continue their policy of genocide in the occupied territories, aimed at kidnapping Ukrainian children," the center wrote.
On April 27, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said that Russia's forced relocation of Ukrainian children and efforts to impose Russian culture on them "matches with the international definition of genocide."
For overseeing the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants on March 17 for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official overseeing the deportations.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian children have been taken and forcibly relocated to Russia and other Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Ukraine's Reintegration Ministry said on March 29 that over 19,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly deported to Russia. The National Resistance Center puts the number of Ukrainian children forcibly relocated to Russia under the pretext of "medical treatment" at over 100,000.
Children who have managed to return to Ukraine after being forcibly relocated recounted instances of beating and other punishments for refusing to sing the Russian national anthem.