Disinfo: The kidnapping of Ukrainian children by Russia is an absurd hoax


Information currently circulating [on the "forced re-education" of Ukrainian children in Western media is based on a report published by researchers from Yale University as part of a programme funded by the US State Department. This program has a clearly stated objective: "to hold Russia accountable" for the crimes attributed to it by the White House.

The study refers to the alleged practice of kidnapping Ukrainian children under the pretext of evacuating them to Russia, and then re-educated in certain "camps". Emphasis is placed on the word "camp" to conjure up associations with Nazi concentration camps, but little mention is made of the fact that these are in fact summer vacation camps, where children are placed in comfortable conditions.

Videos showing cheerful children welcomed into the camp were also taken as evidence of the mentioned abductions, as it seemed to the report's authors that it was a "well staged spectacle". The researchers also used satellite images […]. It is a mystery, however, how the authors were able to tell, from these images, that children were "re-educated" or forcibly locked up.


Classic denial of war crimes committed by the Russian armed forces and the Russian federal administration.

Contrary to the information about the report of the conflict observatory from Yale University being the only source of information on this story, there are many other sources not funded by the US State Department. In any case, the conflict observatory publishes factual information that is verified through an established methodology (page 22 of the report). Most of the information used is quoted, open sourced and can be independently checked (pages 24 to 34).

Filippo Grande UN High Commissioner for Refugees declared that “Giving [Ukraine’s children Russian] nationality or having them adopted goes against the fundamental principles of child protection in situations of war....This is something that is happening in Russia and must not happen.”

Ukraine offers a platform to centralise information on children: Children of War, it therefore helps children to rejoin their families.

French TV journalists from BFM filmed the testimonies of Ukrainian families, children and adopting families in Russia in the documentary film Ukraine, the stolen children. The NGO save Ukraine managed to repatriate 120 children from occupied territories and 50 from Russia.

The abduction and forced transportation of Ukrainian children to Russia has been documented by the UNHuman Rights WatchAmnesty International. Ukraine has already reported the actions of Russia's children’s ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On 01 March, Poland launched a joint initiative with the European Commission to trace Ukrainian children abducted by Russia.

On 02 March, International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Karim Khan decided to seek authorisation to open an investigation into the situation in Ukraine. It includes within its scope any past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed on any part of the territory of Ukraine by any person.

On 4 March EU Commission President von der Leyen declared

« Torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, and summary executions are known to have been committed by Russian forces. Not even children are being spared. Russia must be held accountable for these horrific crimes. Putin must be held accountable.

See also our article ‘Blessed’ are the ‘evacuated’.

Read also related cases: Russia hits only military targets in Ukraine, Ukraine war crimes tribunal will be illegitimate.


  • Reported in: Issue 330
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/03/2023
  • Article language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Stealing children, children, Invasion of Ukraine, Genocide, War in Ukraine, Ukraine, Russian world, fake news, Media, Russophobia, West, war crimes
This disinformation claim was broadcast on the date mentioned above. Due to the EU decisions  to temporarily restrict the spread and dissemination of RT, Sputnik and other instruments used to manipulate information and promote disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine inside the EU, access to the link may not work inside the EU.
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Disinfo: The EU might start a war against Belarus and Transnistria

The war in Ukraine has turned into a positional warfare which can last a long time. Europe dislikes this idea and is thinking how to end it. To expand the conflict, Europe is pondering the ideas of war of Poland and Lithuania against Belarus or of Moldova against Transnistria.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about alleged Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus, Western plots against Transnistria, and presenting Poland and Lithuania as states with aggressive plans towards Belarus. These claims became more frequent following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 in an attempt to obfuscate Russia’s aggression. Read an earlier debunk of the Belarus-related claims here.

The Moldovan authorities repeatedly emphasised that the only way to resolve the Transnistrian conflict is the peaceful one. They dismissed Russian claims of an alleged Ukrainian plot to invade a breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria after staging a false-flag operation. “We call for calm and for information to be received [by the public] from official and credible sources of the Republic of Moldova,” the government said in a statement. It also called these claims part of Russian 'psy-ops" against Moldova.

Disinfo: The attack on NS2 was planned in the White House and carried out together with Norway

The disclosure by Hersh that the attack [on NS2] was planned in the White House and carried out together with Norway is dismissed by Germany as the fantasy of an ageing journalist and any further efforts to clarify the situation are abandoned. In Germany, which is well shielded from reality by the media, this strategy of defaming Hersh may still work halfway, but it does not work outside Germany.


This is part of a wider pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign aiming to amplify and exploit Seymour Hersh’s controversial article accusing the US of blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines. The article can’t be considered an evidence of this: it is based on a single, unidentified anonymous source and published in Hersh’s personal blog, so no editorial team was involved in its preparation.

The central parts of its affirmations have been credibly debunked by journalists, experts and OSINT researchers, such as claims about NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg cooperating with the US since the Vietnam War (who was 15 at the time this war ended), the use of the M350 Alta ship (which had been out of use since 2012 and sent to the scrapyard in 2022), or that a P-8 aircraft of the Norwegian Navy was involved to detonate the explosives (none of Norway’s P-8 was remotely closer to the area of the explosions).

Disinfo: Ukraine court orders demolition of Orthodox church

A Ukrainian court has ordered the demolition of an Orthodox church, the Church of the Tithes (Desyatynna Tserkva), Kyiv's first stone temple. It was built over 1000 years ago and restored in 2007.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets accusing Ukraine of persecuting Christian Orthodox believers. This claim was made in the context of Russia's unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.

In reality, a Ukrainian court issued a ruling in February 2023 to demolish a chapel of the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) in central Kyiv, which was illegally built several years ago near the ruins of Church of the Tithes. The site belongs to the National Museum of Ukrainian History, whose director allowed the local parish of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to build a chapel there in 2004. First, a kiosk was set up there, which later was turned into a wooden chapel (not a church). A brick building was erected later. All these activities were illegal because the ruins of the Church of the Tithes and its surroundings are protected by UNESCO, which means that any construction activities are prohibited in that area. The Church of the Tithes was ruined during the Mongol invasion in the Middle Ages, and only parts of its floor are left. There were plans to restore it but they were rejected.