U.N. puts Russia on its List of Shame for the Killing of Children

June 22, 2023

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday added Russia’s armed forces to its global list of offenders, according to a U.N. Security Council report. 

The U.N. verified that Russia’s armed forces and affiliated groups had killed at least 136 children in Ukraine in 2022, maimed another 518 children, used 91 children as human shields and carried out attacks on 480 schools and hospitals.

The report is an annual accounting that the Secretary-General makes to the 15-member U.N. Security Council. It was compiled by Virginia Gamba, Gutteres’ special representative for children and armed conflict.

The report is meant to shame Russia in the hope of pushing them to implement measures to protect children. In recent years both Saudi Arabia and Israel have exerted pressure in a bid to stay off the list. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly denied targeting civilians since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the report.

In mid-March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant  for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, pointing to his alleged involvement in the abduction of Ukrainian children.

Later that same month, the U.S. threw its support behind the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Ambassador at Large Anton Korynevych has called the crime of aggression a “leadership crime,” adding, “We believe that top perpetrators, top representatives of political and military leadership of the Russian Federation, their crime is a crime of aggression. Their crime is a crime of waging aggressive war, because this crime gave birth to all the other crimes.”

PHOTO: Children’s and Maternity Hospital in Mariupol (March 9, 2022) 

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