Russia comments on allegations of violence against children in Ukraine
The allegations of assorted atrocities against children purportedly committed by the Russian military in Ukraine are “absurd” and not backed up by any facts, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, has said. The diplomat made the remarks during a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday.
“Today, we once again heard accusations from a number of colleagues against the Russian military of committing acts of violence, including sexual violence, against children. This was voiced, in particular, by a British colleague, but by others as well,” he stated, adding that said allegations were “absurd.”
The claims are not backed by facts, with even top Kiev officials admitting they do not have any actual evidence to support them, Nebenzia went on, bringing up a recent interview with Daria Gerasimchuk, the adviser to the Ukrainian president’s commissioner for children's rights.
“To date, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has not a single confirmed fact of violence,” she told the Poland-based Belsat TV channel in Belarus on Wednesday.
Ukrainian forces, on the contrary, have been routinely taking up positions at schools and kindergartens, deliberately turning such facilities into military targets, Nebenzia stated.
“The occupation of schools, kindergartens and other children’s educational institutions by the Ukrainian Armed Forces is not the exception, but the rule,” the diplomat said. “This inhumane method of warfare endangers the lives of children, deprives them of their right to education, and destroys Ukraine's educational infrastructure.”
We have the strong impression that the norms of international humanitarian law exist for anyone, but not for Kiev … The deliberate destruction of civilian objects is a hallmark of Kiev, and this is not Russian propaganda.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.