Today, the US State Department imposed sanctions on 13 people and entities it said were linked to the forced deportation of Ukrainian children, as Washington ramps up pressure on Moscow over its encroachment on Ukraine.
The US State Department said in a statement that the United States will take steps to impose visa restrictions on three departments designated by Russia for their involvement in abuse of the rights of Ukrainian minors.
US President Joe Biden said in a statement, that the anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, “together and side by side with our partners in Europe, we support Ukraine in its fight for freedom at the present time and we will provide assistance to it in the long term.”
The Ukrainian government estimates that the Russian authorities have deported more than 19,500 children from their homes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Among the entities sanctioned by the department on Thursday is Camp Artek, which the US department says is a “summer camp” owned by the Russian government and located in Russian-occupied Crimea.
The Foreign Ministry stated that the Artek camp had received Ukrainian children who had been placed in “national ‘re-education’ programmes” and prevented from returning to their parents. The camp director was among those sanctioned on Thursday.
The sanctions also included the adviser to the governor of the Belgorod region, the commissioner for children’s rights in the Kaluga and Rostov regions, and the head of the government of the Chechen Republic, among others.