Ukraine has opened more than 3,000 criminal cases over Russia’s alleged crimes against children in the country, including dozens of torture cases, Ukrainian prosecutors said Thursday , August 31.
The allegations include “murders, mutilations, abduction of children, forced displacement, deportation, sexual violence against children and kidnapping,” Yulia Usenko, head of the Department for the Protection of Children’s Interests and Combating Violence of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, told Interfax-Ukraine.
Usenko said these alleged crimes are “often combined with torture and illegal deprivation of liberty” and “pretrial investigation bodies and prosecutors document such crimes in more than 3,200 criminal proceedings.”
Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Ukrainian authorities, rights groups, international bodies and news organizations have documented evidence of alleged Russian war crimes and human rights abuses.
Russia has repeatedly denied these accusations of torture and human rights abuses.
According to Usenko, prosecutors documented 75 children who suffered various forms of torture at the hands of Russian forces.
She said 69 of them were located in the village of Yahidne, in Ukraine’s northern Chernihiv region. The children were held in the basement of a school together with adults and their conditions and treatment, “is equated to torture,” Usenko said.
“They were actually in the torture chambers together with adults, it didn’t matter to the occupiers whether it was an adult or a minor child,” she added.
Some children were held because the Russians had claimed they spread information about the movement of Russian military equipment and its troops, Usenko said.