Spilnota Detector Media

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with the help of the newspeak: “children’s treatment”

The Kremlin says that it is taking Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories for “rehabilitation”, although in fact this term, as well as similar terms such as “treatment” or “rest”, does not mean anything other than deportation.

According to the Ukrainian ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets, the Russians took about 20 thousand children. Of them, 800 were returned to Ukraine. Children are taken directly to the territory of Russia or through Crimea or Belarus, where they supposedly “rest” in camps for several weeks beforehand. This practice has been going on since 2014, but it became widely known only after the cases of illegal transportation of Ukrainian children and adolescents by Russia increased sharply in 2022.

On June 24, 2024, EU countries approved another package of sanctions against the Russian Federation. In particular, it introduced sanctions against the International Children's Center Artek, which organizes camps for children from Ukraine, including in illegally occupied territories. The restrictive measures also affected the Kadyrov Foundation, which is conducting a program of “re-education” of Ukrainian children and adolescents, and the Belarusian Republican Union of Youth, which is actively deporting Ukrainian children from illegally occupied territories. Some of their famous representatives were also blacklisted.

The First Deputy Chairman of the Kherson Regional Council, Yurii Sobolevskyi, shared how the process of deportation of Ukrainian children takes place under the pretext of “rehabilitation” at the Kherson region: “What is connected with the removal of children cannot be called evacuation or, as the occupiers call it, rehabilitation — it is deportation. These are elements of genocide, this is a completely war crime. They were able to take out a certain number of children in this way, and then prevented these children from returning to the Kherson region. Parents were also forced to leave for their children and stay in the territory of the Russian Federation”.

In Russia, Ukrainian children are placed in shelters and placed in foster families. And the second one then ends with the illegal adoption of children, which in the future makes their return to Ukraine practically impossible. Identification of Ukrainian children after adoption becomes impossible, as all the personal data of the child changes - starting with last name, first name and patronymic, date of birth, place of birth, etc.

In 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian dictator Volodymyr Putin and the so-called Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Mariia Lvova-Belova. They are suspected of war crimes - deportation and displacement of the population, including children, from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.

Manipulation Children rescued from abduction by Russia want to return there, the executive director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union allegedly said

Propagandists on anonymous Telegram channels are distributing a video where the executive director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights, Oleksandr Pavlichenko, allegedly stated on the Kyiv TV channel that many children rescued from Russian abductions want to return to Russia. However, this is manipulation.

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights itself reported about it on its telegram channel. The organization claims that propagandists cut the video and took it out of the context of Pavlichenko’s interview. In fact, answering one of the presenter’s questions during the broadcast on March 11, Oleksandr Pavlichenko emphasized that the Russian authorities are conducting criminal ideological propaganda among Ukrainian children, actually zombifying them. He noted that this could lead to children who are later rescued being tempted to return to Russia, where they were abused. However, Russian propaganda presents a cut-out piece with its own interpretations.

Propagandists spread such manipulations to justify Russia's actions against Ukrainian children. Like, it saves them. Detector Media previously wrote about how propaganda justifies the kidnapping of Ukrainian children.

Disclosure Russia is trying to disrupt the process of evacuation of children from the Kharkiv region by spreading disinformation messages

Propaganda resources are spreading disinformation to prevent the evacuation of children from the Kupiansk district of the Kharkiv region, which is under massive shelling from Russia.

In such messages, residents of the Kharkiv region are called upon to refuse evacuation, intimidated by the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces military will immediately move into their homes, and their children will be taken to the west of Ukraine, where they will be persecuted for speaking Russian.

At the same time, propagandists are spreading stories glorifying Avdiivka women who “buried children from evacuation”. However, of course, Russian propaganda does not mention that in this way parents exposed their children to mortal danger, writes the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council.

Propagandists present their “advice” as trusteeship, but the only goal of this campaign is to use the civilian population as a human shield to deter the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Russia systematically uses Ukrainian children for its criminal purposes, in particular by carrying out illegal deportations from the TOT. At least 20 thousand children have already been taken to Russia, for which a court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin.

Fake Ukraine allegedly announced the deportation of residents of Kharkiv preparing it for defense

Propaganda resources are disseminating information that Kyiv has allegedly announced the preparation of Kharkiv for defense, therefore all civilians are forcibly deported from the city.

In fact, this information is not true. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. Ukraine, unlike Russia, does not carry out deportations. Ukrainians can only be evacuated from the most dangerous zones to protect their lives. Thus, civilians, primarily children, have been evacuated from the most dangerous communities of the Kharkiv region since the fall of 2022, when almost the entire temporarily occupied part of the region was dismissed by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

On February 24, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Oleh Syniehubov announced plans to include 18 villages of the Velykoburlutsk and Olkhovatsk communities in the mandatory evacuation zone due to increased hostilities. And already on March 6, 2024, he announced the evacuation of 161 children from the most dangerous communities of the Kupiansk district. However, in Kharkiv itself, no forced evacuation was announced. Moreover, it is not about “forced deportation”.

This information stuffing aims to sow panic among the residents of Kharkiv. In addition, Russia is trying to reassure everyone that it has seized the initiative on the battlefield and is allegedly even considering scenarios such as an attack on Kharkiv.

• Read also: Kharkiv authorities are allegedly planning to flee the city.

Message The eviction of Ukrainians from the Zaporizhzhia region was called a “forced measure”

Pro-Russian resources disseminate information that the decision to overpower the residents of the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, who supported Ukraine, was made due to fears of lynching against them. The corresponding statement was made by the “governor” of the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region, Balytskyi.

In fact, this information is not true. This is written about in the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. The eviction of Ukrainians from their homes is not a forced measure, but forced deportation. This is part of the Russian campaign aimed at destroying Ukrainian identity. The mayor of Melitopol Fedorov said that the Russians are preparing a mass settlement of the occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia region with residents from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. That is, the occupiers want to evict “undesirable” Ukrainians and move doctors, teachers, engineers, fighters, etc. into the housing taken away by force from distant regions of Russia.

All the statements of propagandists about “caring for Ukrainians” have nothing to do with reality - in fact, the invaders cruelly abuse the residents of TOT and deprive them of any rights and freedoms, forcing them to receive Russian passports and vote for Putin. We previously wrote that the Russians sent SMS messages to residents of Zaporizhzhia about supposedly evacuating the city, but in fact it was a fake story.

Fake Ukrainian military build dungeons for children

Russian media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric spread the information that Ukrainian soldiers allegedly set up dungeons for children when the Russian army protects them. It's fake.

The case was studied at the Center for Strategic Communications. There is no evidence that the Ukrainian military tortures children. However, it is the Russians who illegally take Ukrainian children from the occupied territories to Russia, which is deportation, kidnapping and a war crime. It is for this that Volodymyr Putin and the Commissioner for Children's Rights in Russia, Mariia Lvova-Bielova, were put on the wanted list by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Also, the Russian military set up dungeons for children in the Kherson region and tortured and starved children.

Thus, Russian propagandists are trying to discredit the Ukrainian servicemen. They use the tactics of reflection: after the Russians were accused of torturing Ukrainian children, they began to accuse the Ukrainian military of the same crimes. Earlier, we refuted the fake that Ukrainian battalions kill Ukrainian children and then export their organs under the grain export code.

Fake Deportation in case of refusal - Ukrainians in Estonia are summoned to a military meeting

Kremlin propaganda media and anonymous telegram channels spread the information that the Ukrainian embassy in Estonia allegedly informed the Ukrainians that they were being called to a “two-week meeting of reservists”. Those who refuse are deported. It's fake.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project drew attention to the case. According to the Estonian National Defense Law, foreigners are exempted from the obligation to join the army. Also, the Ukrinform news agency requested the Ukrainian Embassy in the Republic of Estonia. The embassy said that this information is not true and it is another fake of the Russians. Moreover, according to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On approval of the procedure for organizing and maintaining military records of conscripts, conscripts and reservists”, diplomatic departments have no right to force them to join the ranks of a foreign army.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit the Estonian government and intimidate Ukrainians, to destabilize the situation. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that Poland had allegedly launched covert mobilization.

Message American media lie about forcibly deported Ukrainian children to Russia

Propagandists argue that the American media and government institutions cannot call the evacuation of children from the “war zone” a process that violates international law. Like, Russia really cares about these children, and they left voluntarily. However, this is not true, and at least some evidence supports this.

Analysts of The Insider project drew attention to the message. They argue that there are no provisions in the Convention on the Rights of the Child that allow children to be taken to the territory of the occupying country in time of war. However, Russia at least violated Articles 9, 10, 11, 14, 21, 29 of the Convention. Russia not only took children to its territory without the consent of their parents/guardians/relatives and the authorities, but also re-educated them by force, forcing them to renounce their own cultural identity and values. This is evidenced by the statements of the Commissioner for Children's Rights of Russia Maria Lvovo-Bielova and the presence of a presidential grant in the Rostov region in the amount of about 3 million rubles for the project “Help to orphans of Donbas”. According to the description of the project, it was created to help Ukrainian children go through the “process of changing the Motherland”.

Thus, propagandists want to shift the responsibility for their crimes to others and devalue the scale of the tragedy. However, the testimonies of victims of deportation by force negate their attempts - in particular, the abducted children claimed that they were threatened with a boarding school, and the Russians told them that their parents had abandoned them. In addition, children say that they were beaten with metal sticks and told that they would forever remain “children of Russia”. Such actions are a violation of international law, as confirmed by the issuance of arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court against Volodymyr Putin and Maria Lvova-Bielova.

Message Russia evacuates children from Ukraine in accordance with international law

This thesis appeared in the Russian propaganda media. They say that the evacuation of children from the war zone in Ukraine is in full compliance with international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Reports also say that Western media deliberately use the term adoption of children, talking about their removal from Ukraine, in order to discredit Russia. Allegedly, the Russians are evacuating Ukrainian children to safe places and only allow their citizens to take them into temporary custody so that the children do not live in orphanages.

Analysts of the Eu vs Disinfo project drew attention to the case. They note that this is a recurring pro-Kremlin message denying war crimes committed by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine.

In fact, the abduction and forced transportation of Ukrainian children to Russia has been documented by the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Ukraine has already reported the actions of Russia’s Children’s Ombudsman Mariia Lvova-Bielova to the International Criminal Court (ICC). On March 2, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan decided to obtain permission to open an investigation into the situation in Ukraine. It includes any past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed in any part of the territory of Ukraine by any person. We recall that On March 17, 2023, the ICC issued arrest warrants for two people in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Volodymyr Putin and Mariia Lvova-Bielova.

Read more about the forced deportation of children from Ukraine in the Detector Media investigation.

Fake SSU threatens deportation of men abroad

A screenshot of a message allegedly sent by the SSU (Security Service of Ukraine) is being circulated on social networks. The message refers to the need for men who are abroad to urgently appear at “points for the preparation and recruitment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. If the man does not show up voluntarily, the SSU plans to go to court “in order to deport the person liable for military service to Ukraine”. This message is fake.

As StopFake journalists found out, the box of this message was first published in the Typical Odesa telegram channel, which distributes Russian propaganda. Subsequently, it was published by other propaganda telegram channels.

The message contains grammatical and factual errors: for example, there are no “points for the preparation and recruitment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. They are officially called territorial recruitment and social support centers. It is also known that the SBU does not use the telegram channel to send any messages.