Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said the investigation was focused on the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions on the south coast but collecting evidence had been made more difficult by the war
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
War crimes investigators have launched a “genocide” case against Russia over fears that more than 200,000 children have been forcibly transported across the border.
Legal experts say the “forcible transfer of children” may amount to genocide as it plays a part in an attempt to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova said: “From the first days of the war we opened this case of genocide. So this forced transfer of children is very important.”
Human Rights Ombudsman in Ukraine Lyudmyla Denisova said Moscow resettled over 210,000 children to Russia during the conflict, including 1.2 million deportees. The Genocide Convention – adopted by the UN after the Holocaust – establishes five acts of genocide: killing members of a group, causing serious physical or psychological harm, imposing destructive conditions, preventing childbirth, and forcibly transferring children.
Ms Venediktova said the investigation was focused on the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions on the south coast, but the war is hampering the collection of evidence.
Other alleged Russian war crimes are being investigated in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Sumy and Zhytomyr, including attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, rape, torture and extrajudicial killings.
Ms Venediktova said Ukraine had identified more than 600 Russian suspects and launched criminal prosecutions against about 80, including some prisoners of war.
Genocide has only been proven in international courts for conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda and Cambodia. However, experts say there is mounting evidence supporting a case in Ukraine, including a pattern of atrocities subjected to rigorous testing to prove genocidal intent.
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Melanie O’Brien, President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, said: “You really need to focus on forced displacement of children.
“We definitely see the threat of genocide.”
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said the Kremlin is trying to delay the war into a “protracted phase” by building layered defenses in the south of the country rather than moving forward.
It is feared that Russia has taken almost all of the key city of Severodonetsk, marking a victory in the Luhansk region.
Donetsk region will not fall soon but needs the world to supply more weapons, said its governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Russian troops stand just nine miles north of Sloviansk, the second largest Ukrainian-controlled city in Donetsk.
The capture of the Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk regions is a key Russian goal. Almost half of Donetsk is still in Ukrainian hands.
He said: “I’m sure they won’t move quickly. In the long run everything depends on the concentration of our forces. The world still needs to do more.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/fears-russia-snatched-200000-ukrainian-27141749 Fears Russia has kidnapped 200,000 Ukrainian children as investigators launch 'genocide' case - World News