Persons and universities involved in the displacement and indoctrination of Ukrainian children - картинка 1

Persons and universities involved in the displacement and indoctrination of Ukrainian children

Russian policy towards Ukrainian children in the temporarily occupied territories is aimed at indoctrination, destruction of Ukrainian identity in children and their militarization.

Russia has been implementing this policy since 2014 through various instruments and mechanisms, strengthening and expanding them after the full-scale invasion. One of these new tools, which was created in 2022, is the University Sessions program.

This is a program that is held on the campuses of Russian universities for children from the temporarily occupied territories aged 12-17, during shifts of 10 days each. The goal of the program is career guidance and the formation of Russian identity, but in fact it is the Russification of Ukrainian children, the erasure of Ukrainian identity and the stimulation of their relocation from the occupied territories to study and further residence in the Russian Federation.

During the two years of the University Sessions program, 10,611 children were taken out in 2022 and 10,700 children in 2023 from the temporarily occupied parts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions.

The removal of Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories (TOT) for such a program is contrary to international law, in particular, the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 49 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons, and Article 43 of the Hague Rules.

The key implementers of the program are Russian higher education organizations (HEIs), and we have identified 63 universities.

Also, the Russian Society “Znanie”, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs “Rosmolodyozh” and their leaders personally play a major role in illegal actions – indoctrination, Russification of Ukrainian children through the “University Sessions” program.

We conducted a detailed investigation of 7 universities and two people responsible for implementing the program and making key decisions.

We describe in more detail in the document below the involvement of these individuals and universities in illegal actions.

The document was prepared by the Center for Civic Education “Almenda” with the financial support of the Czech organization People in Need Ukraine, as a part of the SOS Ukraine initiative. The content of the publication does not necessarily match their position.