The European Broadcasting Union Investigative Journalism Network says Moscow is systematically erasing Ukrainian identity in illegally occupied eastern territories. Its report said that “breaking or ignoring Russia’s rules could make it difficult to survive.”
In an extensive investigation spanning several months, the EBU Investigative Journalism Network found that millions of people living in occupied territories, including Donetsk, Luhansk and parts of Kherson and Zaporizhia, are being denied access to basic services such as pensions and healthcare and free movement. Has been, until they don’t. Oath of Russian citizenship and allegiance to Russia.
Residents told journalists that Russian authorities have threatened to take children away from parents without Russian passports.
The new law, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in April, says residents who have not acquired citizenship by July 2024 will be considered ‘foreigners or stateless people’, and subject to deportation.
Journalists report that in places where Moscow’s rules apply, breaking Moscow’s rules may be difficult to survive, but following them could mean prosecution for collaboration by the Ukrainian state.
According to the EBU investigation, eyewitness and expert accounts reveal incidents of torture, coercion, deportation, cultural eradication and military indoctrination, violations of international law and, in some cases, possible war crimes.
The people interviewed consistently talked about pro-Russian propaganda.
”The task of the Russians was to destroy the existence of Ukrainian statehood here in the Kherson region,” said Alexander Samoilenko, head of the Kherson regional council.
“And to suggest that the inhabitants of ‘Novorossija’, or ‘Little Russians’ as they called them, lived and lived here. And that the people living here have nothing to do with the Ukrainian state and Ukrainian culture and so on.”
The report found that Moscow is influencing the younger generation through its education curriculum.
School lessons are taught in Russian, and history is taught from a Russian perspective.
Ukrainian textbooks are banned.
Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said that the education system aims to erase children’s Ukrainian identity.
“Essentially, the textbook is a propaganda tool. It is depriving Ukrainian children of access to their own culture and their own history. And it’s trying to make those children the model citizens that Russia wants them to be,” he said.
So-called Russification efforts have intensified in eastern Ukraine since the military invasion last year.
Ukrainian historians said that the Kremlin is making every possible effort to win the hearts and minds of the local population.
It has taken control of the media and put up billboards in public places with photographs of Russian kings and commanders.
The EBU Investigative Journalism Network conducted more than 20 interviews with experts, witnesses and victims of torture to highlight these issues, using the skills of journalists from EBU members DR, LRT, ORF, RSI, RTVE and UA:PBC. Did it.
Moscow declined an invitation to be interviewed for the report.
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