The research:

The research: “Commemorative Plaques as the Evidence of Crimes of the Russian Federation in Crimea”

To raise true patriots of Russia, who, if necessary, will defend the “Motherland” with weapons in their hands – this is the goal of Russia in the occupied territories. And unfortunately, such a policy has its deadly consequences – proof of this is the memorial plaques to those killed during the so-called “Special military operation” on the walls of educational institutions in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Some of them were over 12 years old at the time of the occupation – and they fully experienced the policy of destruction of Ukrainian identity, militarization and assimilation, which was actively implemented by the Russian Federation and the occupying government of Crimea during the last 9 years.

These plaques are the final point of the process of militarization and Russification of children who studied in educational institutions of the temporarily occupied Crimea. Russia uses these deaths to motivate other children who are studying now – to love “their Motherland”, to hate “enemies” – Ukraine, the “collective West”, “NATO” and to be ready to defend Russia and in the end “heroically” die for it.

This research analyzes the practices of installing commemorative plaques on the facades of the educational facilities in the occupied Crimea in honor of those who died during the new phase of the Russian-Ukrainian war, or the so-called “Special Military Operation”, which was launched by the Russian federation against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The objective of the research is to establish the connection between the policies of militarization, carried out by the Russian Federation in the educational institutions of the occupied Crimea and the influence on the minds of children who studied and are currently studying during the occupation. Commemorative plaques in this sense, are, on the one hand, visual proof of the lethality of the policy of children and youth militarization, and, on the other hand, the installation of these plaques on the educational institutions is an additional instrument for militarization of future generations.

Using open sources, we collected information about 59 plaques installed, 33 of which were dedicated to persons born after 1998. The biography of 29 of them was studied in detail. Regarding each of them, information from open sources was collected, including recourses of the occupation administrations and “VKontakte” social network pages. The use of data from the “VKontakte” social network is related to the fact that after the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into the territory of Ukraine, most of the information from the representatives of the occupation authorities was published in this particular social network, so it is now actually the only possible source of access to obtain the necessary information.

The use of Russian sources and sources of the temporarily occupied territories is determined by the same reasons. The information presented in this report is aimed at recording the crimes of the Russian Federation and countering disinformation spread by it.

The authors of research were limited only by the resources available to them.

In most of educational institutions, in which the fallen ones used to study, there are “Young Army” units and cadet classes, but there are few sites that have preserved information on the years of studying of those people, which also limited the work of researchers.

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The monitoring report has been prepared by the Center for Civic Education “Almenda” as a part of the project “Destroyed Childhood: Bringing Justice”. The content of this document is the sole responsibility of the public organization Center for Civic Education “Almenda” and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Civil Rights Defenders.