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Occupiers in Crimea Call on High School Students to Join Russian Army

classroom

In the temporarily occupied Crimea, during “patriotism lessons” on 1 September, high school students were encouraged to join the ranks of the Russian army, which violates a number of norms of international law.

“On 1 September, during the ‘patriotism lessons’ in Simferopol schools, the so-called ‘heroes’ of the so-called ‘special operation’ talked about the prospects of contract service in the ranks of the army of the Russian Federation. In this way, high school students are recruited to the Russian army after completing their studies,” Oleksiy Tilnenko, chairman of the board of NGO CrimesSOS, stated.

According to him, the occupiers violate a number of norms of international law:

  1. Article 51 of the Geneva Convention (IV), which prohibits the occupying Power from compelling residents of the occupied territory to serve in its armed forces, and also prohibits any pressure or propaganda that aims at securing voluntary enlistment.
  2. Article 8 (2)(a)(v) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court — compelling a resident of the occupied territory to serve in the forces of a hostile Power.
  3. Article 8 (2)(b)(xv) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court — compelling residents of the occupied territory to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country.
  4. Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits any propaganda of war.
  5. Article 2 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Participation of Children in Armed Conflicts, which protects persons who have not attained the age of 18 years from compulsory recruitment into the armed forces.
  6. Article 1 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Participation of Children in Armed Conflicts, which protects members of armed forces who have not attained the age of 18 years from direct participation in hostilities.

CrimeaSOS notes that in July, the State Duma of the Russian Federation introduced an amendment to the law on military service, which allows concluding contracts with those who have not undergone military conscription, particularly, with 18-year-olds who have just finished school.

As a reminder, the representatives of the occupation authorities in the temporarily occupied Luhansk region prepared a manual for schools with pseudo-historical, anti-Ukrainian theses for a new academic year. In the Kherson region, the occupiers force people to send children to Russian schools with threats. At the same time, in Mariupol, the occupiers ban children from communicating in the Ukrainian language in schools, threatening them and their parents with “unforeseen consequences”.

Bohdan Marusyak

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