US confirms involvement of NGOs and Belarus in illegal deportation of Ukrainian children
The United States confirmed that Belarus is involved in the abduction of Ukrainian children. In particular, non-governmental organizations are engaged in illegal deportation.
Ms. Beth Van Schaack, US Ambassador-at-Large, stated during the United for Justice. War Crimes against Ukrainian Children conference in Toronto.
"We have information that children were taken from Ukraine through the occupied territory to Russia and then on to Belarus, and there are several really creepy non-governmental organizations involved in this process, including far-right motorcycle communities," the official said.
The ambassador emphasized the unwavering support of Ukraine from the United States, noted the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
"It is essential that the crime of aggression be prosecuted so that autocrats around the world do not think they can do the same. We must prove that the international community will steadfastly protect territorial integrity and sovereignty. We are looking for mechanisms," the diplomat emphasized.
Among such mechanisms are the organization of a tribunal for the crime of aggression, prosecution of criminals in international institutions, and prosecution for international crimes in other countries' courts. However, Van Schaack believes that the main path to justice lies through Ukrainian courts. In her opinion, justice works in Ukraine even during the war.
As of December 3, Ukraine confirmed the illegal deportation of 19,546 children.
On March 17, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the Commissioner for Children of the Russian Federation, Maria Lvova-Belova. They are suspected of illegally transporting Ukrainian children from the occupied territories to Russia.
In July 2023, the Prosecutor General's Office began an investigation into the participation of the Belarusian Red Cross in the deportation of Ukrainian children.
Earlier, the head of the Belarusian branch of the Red Cross, Dmytro Shevtsov, boasted about the deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus.
After that, the International Red Cross issued an ultimatum – either Shevtsov resigns by November 30, or the membership of the Belarusian branch is terminated.
It should be noted that after the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine at the beginning of 2022, more than 2,400 Ukrainian children aged 6 to 17 were taken to 13 institutions on the territory of Belarus.
It should be noted that the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, may be involved in the forced deportation of several thousand Ukrainian children to the Republic of Belarus.