Russia-occupation forces in Donbas involve children into military conflict

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Criminal proceedings into the involvement of minors in illegal activities have begun under the procedural guidance of the Donetsk Regional Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the preparation of children and adolescents in the uncontrolled territories of Donbas to participate in hostilities, the website of the Prosecutor General’s Office reported on Wednesday, February 3.

“The pretrial investigation established that since 2017, representatives of illegal armed groups of the Russian Federation in the so-called pseudo-patriotic clubs and military camps have been preparing girls and boys aged 10 to 17 to participate in hostilities. The militants teach teenagers to shoot from large-caliber weapons and Kalashnikov rifles. In addition, they distort the essence of the current events and put a hostile attitude towards Ukraine into the consciousness of children,” the message says.

In total, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, there are more than ten such organizations operating in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk region, in particular, the so-called public military-patriotic movements “Young Guard of Donbas,” “Amazons,” “Patriot,” “Bastion,” and “Steppe Wolves.”

“According to law enforcement officers, since the beginning of the armed conflict in the Donetsk region, members of the illegal Russian-led forces have involved more than 100 children in illegal activities,” the department said.

The actions of Russian-occupation forces are classified according to the relevant part 1 of Article 304 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The pretrial investigation continues.

© 2021 Interfax Ukraine

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