UN has no access to Ukrainian children, studying in Russia and occupied territories of Ukraine – UN deputy secretary general

16 September, 10:09 AM
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UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed briefs reporters ahead of the Transforming Education Summit at a press briefing in New York on Sept. 15. (Photo:UN Photo/Jaclyn Licht)

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed briefs reporters ahead of the Transforming Education Summit at a press briefing in New York on Sept. 15. (Photo:UN Photo/Jaclyn Licht)

The United Nations humanitarian organizations still have no access to the Ukrainian children, who went to schools in Russia and in the occupied territories of Ukraine this year.

Therefore, there’s no possibility to verify the information about the mass reeducation of Ukrainian children Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told NV at UN Headquarters in New York on Sept. 15. “We must do what we can in those areas we can access.”

Ukraine has accused Russia of forcibly taking more than 300,000 Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion. Some 1000 children from Mariupol were transported to Russia against their will. So far Ukraine managed to return only 50 children from Russia.

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Since the end of February, more than 557,000 Ukrainian children have been relocated to Russia, Tatiana Moskalkova, Russian ombudsman for human rights reported in August.

“And I can say that all pupils can receive free education in Russia,” Moskalkova said in a Telegram statement, falsely claiming that in Ukraine children would not go to school this year. 

Since the start of the school year, children in Ukrainian-controlled territories had to limit their school days due to the limited capacity of school bomb shelters, studying online, and taking turns to go to school.

At the same time, Russia has started mass reeducation of Ukrainian children not only in Russia but also in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

More than 200 Russian teachers have arrived in the occupied territories with the goal to reeducate little Ukrainians in accordance with Russian state school programs, Russian media have reported.

“Faced with resistance, Russia threatens parents in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions with sending children to orphanages if they do not sign them up to Russian-seized schools,” Oleg Nikolenko, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a Twitter statement in August. 

“Moscow is using education as a tool of oppression.”

During the UN Security Council meeting on Sept. 8  on forced filtration measures in Ukraine, United States Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said more than 1,800 children were transferred from Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine to Russia just in July. Meanwhile, Russia claims that all filtration measures are only ordinary checks on the border, “like in Poland”.

Russia also claimed that 3.7 million Ukrainians, including 600,000 children, have gone to Russia or Russian-controlled separatist areas in eastern Ukraine, but they “aren’t being kept in prisons”. 

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