Today, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution recognising that Russia's deportation of Ukrainian children bears signs of genocide. This is the first recognition of this fact at the level of such a high international organisation that unites the states of our continent, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his evening address.
"In practical terms, this decision will significantly bolster our global efforts to bring Russia and its officials, including the head of the terrorist state, to justice for genocide and genocidal policy against Ukraine. The deportation of Ukrainian children is one of the well-thought-out elements of Russia's attempts to erase the identity of our people, to destroy the very essence of Ukrainians. This is a deliberate crime of genocide committed by Russian officials. This is how it should be qualified both politically and legally," the president stressed.
Zelenskyy said that today the First Lady of Ukraine had addressed the PACE regarding children and families. "We know for sure the data of almost 20,000 children who were taken away and scattered in different regions of the evil state. But there may be many more children."
"Europe and the world have already seen various deportations and attempts to destroy peoples. We must use the Russian example - the responsibility of this state and its officials guilty of genocide - to show all other potential sources of the same evil that there will never be impunity again. There will be sentences for genocide. Just like for all other crimes committed by Russia against Ukraine and our people," Zelenskyy said.
He noted that in Mykolayiv, the debris has already been cleared at the site of the missile strike that took place last night. More than 20 people were injured, one person was killed. The missiles damaged dozens of ordinary houses and two educational institutions. Kalibr missiles were used against a school and a college, against residential buildings.
"In the evening, another rocket attack was carried out on Kostyantynivka, Donetsk Region. A school, a hospital and residential buildings were also damaged. Unfortunately, there are people injured," the president added.
He praised the defenders of Avdiyivka from the 35th Separate Marine Brigade, the defenders of Maryinka from the 79th Brigade and the entire Donetsk sector from the 55th Separate Artillery Brigade. He also mentioned the 44th Separate Artillery Brigade in the Zaporizhzhya sector and the 95th Separate Airborne Brigade, which are fighting very hard near Kreminna in Luhansk Region.
"And I would like to thank absolutely everyone who is defending Bakhmut and destroying the enemy there on a large scale, as the occupier deserves it," Zelenskyy concluded.