Russia has begun recruiting child soldiers to boost its troop numbers, according to Ukraine's human rights officials. They have accused Kremlin of recruiting children for the country's army as thousands of Russian troops have been injured and killed in the Ukraine war.
Moscow has started the recruitment from the youth clubs in a bid to replace nearly 30,000 troops, who are either killed, injured, or captured in the war. Officials in Russia are now conscripting 16-year-olds.
Kremlin Established Patriotic Clubs
Russia had established patriotic clubs in occupied eastern Ukraine after the 2014 invasion. The clubs aim to promote Moscow's culture in Luhansk and Donetsk.
Children are receiving military training from the army officials in Russia and they can be sent to the frontline, claimed Ukrainian officials calling on the UN to conduct a probe into Russia's alleged use of 'child soldiers'.
The insignia and badges of Russian military cadets, who are also not supposed to be deployed to war zones, were also found on battlefields in the Ukraine war.
Russia Violates Rights of Children
Lyudmyla Denisova, the Ukrainian parliament commissioner on human rights, has revealed that the Luhansk and Donetsk's occupation authorities are conducting the mobilization of children who participated in the so-called patriotic clubs, to the levels of illegal weapons formations, according to the Daily Mail.
Denisova claimed that the children were part of military training and deaths were also reported among these teenagers.
She accused Russia of promoting the entry of children into the army of civilians in the occupied territories. The recruitment of children into the military or any armed group is a violation of international laws.
Denisova stated that 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. Ukraine has described patriotic clubs run by Russia as indoctrination centers. The centres had begun in 2015, a year after Kremlin invaded the Luhansk and Donetsk region.