According to this report, supported by testimonies and satellite images, children who lived in areas occupied by Russian forces were forcibly taken to 43 camps, sometimes thousands of kilometers from their homes, spread across Russia, but also in Crimea and Siberia, regions annexed by Moscow. They were to receive a “pro-Russian patriotic and military education”according to the study, cited by The Guardian. The smallest of them was barely four months old.
Their return date has been delayed by several weeks, or even indefinitely in some of these establishments. On site, everything was done to imbue the children with pro-Moscow rhetoric, through school programs promoting a certain vision of Russian history, visits to patriotic sites and lectures given by former fighters. On several videos shot in these cells, they appeared singing the Russian national anthem and carrying the country’s flag. The children also reportedly received training in the use of firearms, although there is no evidence that they were sent into combat, according to the report.