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Prosecutor General: Wagner mercenaries forcibly deport 4 children from Bakhmut
Four Ukrainian children were forcibly deported from Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast by the Wagner mercenary Group, Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office reported on April 20.
According to the report, Wagner mercenaries had previously abducted two families and two minors from Bakhmut on April 16.
On April 17-18, Wagner mercenaries took two more families with small children from Bakhmut to an unknown location.
The total children taken include three boys and one girl, the report said.
Bakhmut, a once-prosperous industrial city in Donetsk Oblast, has been the epicenter of heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces for the past nine months.
The Wagner mercenary group has been assisting Russia’s military in trying to capture Ukraine’s eastern city of Bakhmut for months as Moscow tries to consolidate its grip over the entirety of Donetsk Oblast.
As of mid-April, Ukrainian forces continue to hold parts of the city, west of the railway line, while Russian forces led by the Wagner Group have taken the administrative center.
According to a Ukrainian national database, over 19,000 children have been abducted by Russia since the start of Russia’a all-out war on Feb. 24, 2022.