Vladimir Putin has been accused of raiding youth clubs to recruit “child soldiers” to fight in eastern Ukraine to boost troop numbers after Russian forces have suffered huge losses.
Moscow are conscripting child soldiers from “patriotic clubs” who have received military training, defence tactics and first aid.
The “patriotic clubs” were formed in 2014 following the invasion of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine and anti-Russian campaigner have described these as “indoctrination clubs.”
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The United Nations (UN) was asked to investigate the recruitment of “child Soldiers” by Ukranian officials.
The Ukrainian parliament commissioner on human rights Lyudmyla Denisova said, “The occupation authorities [of Luhansk and Donetsk] are conducting the mobilisation of children who participated in the so-called patriotic clubs, to the levels of illegal weapons formations.
Occupational administration of LNR/DNR in sending boys as young as 16 to a war with #Ukraine
They are using those teenagers that took part in patriotic clubs in the republics. These clubs, to resemble Younarmia of Putin's, appeared in the separatist republics in 2017. pic.twitter.com/VkAicYOYyY
— Cargo-200🇺🇦 (@RF200_NOW) April 17, 2022
“They have been doing military training and there have been deaths among these teenagers [in Ukraine].
“Now they are promoting the entry into the army of civilians, including children in the temporarily occupied territories.
“In doing so, the Russian Federation has violated the laws and customs of war provided by the 1949 Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians… and the rights of children.
“The recruitment of children is a violation of international law.”
Putin’s children’s army are not trained to the same level as traditional soldiers and are generally called “cannon fodder.”
Al males aged between 18 and 27 are required to sign up to the Russian army and are normally conscripted for a year then they become military reservists.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that Russian conscripts have been taken as prisoner’s of war in Ukraine.