ISW: Belarusian officials are leveraging international partnerships in an attempt to legitimize Belarus’ role in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children
Russian and Belarusian media reported on October 4 that a number of diplomats who are accredited in Belarus visited a group of 44 children from Lysychansk and Severodonetsk at an accommodation point in Novopolotsk, Belarus.
The group of diplomats included representatives from Zimbabwe, India, Qatar, China, Cuba, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Russia, Syria, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Russian and Belarusian media reported that Belarusian officials showed the diplomats the dormitory where the children are located and talked about the educational and medical services provided to the children. ISW has previously reported that Belarus has been closely involved in Russia’s efforts to forcibly deport Ukrainian children from their homes, and the European Parliament adopted a resolution reflective of this fact on September 13 that recognizes Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko as complicit in crimes involving the deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus and the Russian Federation.
Belarusian authorities likely hosted the delegation in an effort to portray its actions vis a vis Ukrainian children as somehow legitimate and legal, as many of the diplomats made positive statements about the accommodations and experiences of the children in Belarus.