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Russia accused of using child soldiers for territorial defense, Concerns rise as 11-year-old boy enlists

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BELGOROD, Russia — Disturbing reports have emerged from the Belgorod region in Russia, alleging the use of child soldiers by Russian authorities as “territorial defense forces.” The most shocking revelation is that an 11-year-old boy has been enlisted in these forces, raising concerns about the exploitation of children for military purposes.

The young boy’s parents, who go by the call signs “Chorny” and “Keri,” have reportedly been actively participating in training sessions conducted by what is believed to be forces loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. These revelations have sparked outrage and drawn international attention to the controversial practices taking place in the region.

The use of child soldiers is a clear violation of international law and is prohibited under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention, ratified by Russia in 1990, expressly forbids the recruitment and use of children under the age of 18 in armed conflicts.

Local sources indicate that the young boy began attending military training sessions with his parents at a very early age, and recently, he officially joined the so-called “territorial defense forces” in the Belgorod region. These forces are believed to be an unofficial paramilitary group operating under the patronage of the Russian government.

The recruitment of child soldiers has raised grave concerns among human rights organizations and the international community. Child soldiers are exposed to physical and psychological harm, are denied their right to education and a normal childhood, and are often forced into a life of violence and conflict.

International organizations and foreign governments have condemned Russia’s alleged use of child soldiers and called for an immediate investigation into the matter. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed deep concern and urged Russia to comply with its international obligations to protect the rights of children.

The Russian government has not officially responded to these allegations, and access to the region for independent investigations has been limited. However, local activists and concerned citizens are demanding transparency and accountability regarding the reported use of child soldiers.

The case of the 11-year-old boy in the Belgorod region highlights the urgent need for international attention on the issue of child soldiers in Russia. As the situation unfolds, human rights advocates and the global community will continue to monitor developments closely and call for justice for the children affected by these alarming practices.

This incident raises important questions about the safeguarding of children’s rights and the need for stricter enforcement of international conventions that protect children from being exploited in armed conflicts. The world awaits further information on this deeply troubling situation, hoping that the rights and well-being of children will be upheld and protected.

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