Pavel Latushka in an interview for Times Radio (United Kingdom) 11.05.2023
You are talking about Ukrainian children being taken to Belarus for permanent residence? Is it against their parent’s wishes? How does it happen?
Photo: The NAM-media
We've prepared the Report "Role of Lukashenko Regime & Union State of Belarus & Russia in Illegal Transfer & Re-education of Ukrainian Children".
Illegal transfer of the civilian population from the occupied territories of Ukraine, with the aim to permanently or temporarily displace such persons is in fact war crime. We are talking firstly about orphans and Lukashenko's regime illegally transferring these orphans to the territory of Belarus.
It is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime under the Rome Statute. Some may claim the voluntary decision of parents, however, among transferred children, some are orphans, some are social orphans, some are from low-income families, and some have parents
Who is organizing the trafficking?
Personally, Lukashenko and his regime are organizing the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children to the territory of Belarus as well as to the territory of Russia.
And it is very important to understand that Lukashenko is organizing the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children to the territory of Belarus and Russia under the auspices of the so-called Union State of Belarus and Russia. Lukashenko personally signed resolutions and all financial documents that provide financial support for children's transfer and we have all these documents at our disposal.
What is being done to those children? Passports revoked? Russian indoctrination? What are they taught?
The regime invites propagandists who tell that Ukraine has an illegitimate government and that Ukraine is part of the Russian world, invites representatives of paramilitary organizations, both Belarusian and Russian, who teach little Ukrainians to believe that Ukraine is a country of Nazism and fascism.
А. Talai and A. Lukashekno
Aleksey Talay Belarusian Foundation is also involved in this. This person is very close to Lukashenko.
The company Belaruskali is strongly involved, Belaruskali is the main supplier of potassium fertilizers in the world. By the way, a number of European Union countries would like to exclude this company from US and European Union sanctions. But it's unacceptable because we have 100% proof that Belaruskali is financing the deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus.
What evidence have you managed to gather?
We now have information about three places where Ukrainian children are being held: 2 in the Minsk region and 1 in the Gomel Region in Belarus.
As I said, we confirm three places where they are. We know the number of 1,500 children last year, 1,100 this year, transferred to Belarus, we know about the re-education of Ukrainian children, we know all the Belarusian foundations that organize illegal transfers, the ways of transportation of children.
We have documents signed by Lukashenko. In particular, organizational and administrative documents, photo and video materials indicating the number of children being transferred, their places of residence, persons responsible for these crimes.
What is the process now? Will it be treated as a war crime?
We passed this report to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, we passed it on to the US State Department and to many foreign ministries of European countries. The main thing is that we passed this report to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. By the way, the Verkhovna Rada even amended its resolution, where it emphasized the role of Lukashenko, just like in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The next step is to refer the materials to Prosecutor Khan at the International Criminal Court. We believe that Lukashenko is fulfilling his responsibility in The Hague.
There are reasonable grounds to believe that Lukashenko and a wide range of high-ranking officials from his regime committed war crimes in the form of the illegal transfer of children from Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine to Belarus.