Ukraine’s General Prosecutor Office has sent a report to the International Criminal Court about the propaganda policy and the imposition of military service among children in the annexed Crimea by the occupying power.

“The militarisation policy, which takes place throughout Crimea, has a purposeful, systematic and large-scale nature, applies to children from pre-school to adulthood and is an instrument of forcing to serve in the occupier’s army,” the message says.

Ukrainian law enforcement officers have established that paramilitary classes were implemented in secondary schools. Meanwhile, the cadet groups are established in kindergartens. The summer specialised tent camps are set up to teach scouting, and budget programs on so-called patriotic education of young people are launched. One noted that the public movement “Youngarmy of Crimea,” which has been operating since 2016, is engaged in large-scale militarisation of children’s consciousness on the peninsula.

The information message of the Prosecutor’s Office highlights the facts of teaching children the hostilities tactics and strategy, the structure of modern small arms and shooting, which are carried out, in particular, by personnel officers of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defence.

Ukraine insists that propaganda aimed at the occupied territories residents’ voluntary recruitment to the army is prohibited by Art. 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. At the same time, in Crimea, such propaganda is not only a violation of international humanitarian law but also a tool of commiting a war crime via compulsion to serve in the aggressor country’s armed forces.

The Prosecutor General’s Office reminded that this is the second report since 2018 on the militarisation of the population of the annexed peninsula. Since the capture, Russia has conducted 11 conscription campaigns in Crimea. So, at least 25,000 men have been forcibly recruited into the aggressor country’s army.

Bohdan Marusyak

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