Ukraine alleged on Friday that Russia has forcefully removed around 210,000 children since its invasion on February 24, accusing Moscow of attempting to convert them to Russian citizens.
Lyudmyla Denisova, a human rights ombudswoman, claimed the youngsters were among 1.2 million Ukrainians evacuated against their will, according to Kyiv.
Denisova’s figure or her assertions, for which she provided no supporting proof, could not be independently verified by the media.
Denisova’s claims about the deportation of significant numbers of children and other Ukrainian nationals were not immediately responded to a media request for comment.
Since initiating what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine, Moscow has denied targeting civilians and claims to be providing humanitarian help to people seeking to flee the country.
“Taking our children out destroys our national character and robs our country of its future,” Denisova stated on national television.
“They teach our children the history that Russian President Vladimir Putin has told everyone there in Russian.”
Russia has alluded to “refugees” seeking sanctuary in Russia to flee combat, notably in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which has been under siege and bombing for weeks.
Mass forceful transfers of people to the territory of the occupying party during a conflict are prohibited by the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which outline international legal norms for humane treatment in conflict.