TRUTH PUKE’S TAKEAWAY: The Grayzone investigated the circumstances around Putin’s arrest warrant by The Hague. On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of “unlawfully deporting” Ukrainian children to a network of camps in Russia. US Sen. Lindsey Graham and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria likened Putin’s actions to those of Hitler during World War II.
According to the Grayzone report, the ICC prosecutor relied on research from Yale University’s Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL), which was “funded and guided by the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations”. They did not conduct field research or request access to the camps, and their findings were based on open-source information only.
Nathaniel Raymond from Yale HRL claimed on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 that they had found “evidence of genocide” of Ukrainian children being forcibly taken from their families and subjected to coercive military training in Russian-run camps. However, the investigation conducted by Raymond’s team conflicted with his own claims.
The Grayzone found that the Yale HRL researchers did not visit the camps or speak with any children, parents, or staff members. Yale HRL’s report acknowledged that most of the camps provided free recreational programs and cultural education for disadvantaged youth and conceded that it found no documentation of child mistreatment. The investigation found that children attended the camps voluntarily and returned home as scheduled with the consent of their parents. The report also acknowledged that parents sent their children to the camps for reasons such as providing a safe place with nutritious food away from war hostilities or for a free trip. Therefore, there was no evidence of genocide as alleged by Raymond during his CNN appearance.
US journalist Jeffrey Loffredo from the Grayzone gained access to a Russian government camp in Moscow that housed youth from the war-torn Donbass region and found a “hotel full of happy campers receiving free classical music lessons from first-class instructors.” The youth at the camp were grateful to have found “refuge from the Ukrainian army’s years-long campaign of shelling and besiegement of their homeland.”
Per Grayzone, youths at the camp in Moscow were part of the ethnically Russian population of Donbass, which faced regular shelling from the US-backed government in Kiev long before the 2022 invasion. They grew up in a region that rebelled against a Ukrainian government that outlawed their Russian Orthodox religion and language and attacked ethnic Russians. Most, if not all, of the students at the camp indicated they identify with the Russian nation.
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