Sanctions on kids center ‘height of insanity’ – Kremlin

The UK has sanctioned the Artek children’s resort in Crimea, claiming that Russia is using it to “destroy Ukrainian identity”

Sanctions on kids center ‘height of insanity’ – Kremlin

Sanctions on kids center ‘height of insanity’ – Kremlin

Moscow has responded to the UK blacklisting of Artek children’s resort in Crimea

British sanctions against the Artek international children’s center stand out among London’s shameful behavior, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

“To be honest, what got to me lately were the UK sanctions against Artek. This is the height of insanity!” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said. “Were I British, I would probably feel ashamed.”

Artek is a complex of nine recreational and educational camps for children, located in Crimea. It was included in the list of 14 Russian individuals and entities sanctioned by the UK on Monday, as being part of Moscow’s alleged “attempts to destroy Ukrainian national identity.”

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly claimed that Putin was carrying out a “chilling programme of forced child deportation” in which Ukrainian children were exposed to “hate-filled propaganda spewed by his lackeys.“

“Many deported children are relocated to a network of re-education camps in illegally annexed Crimea and mainland Russia, where they are exposed to Russia-centric academic, cultural, patriotic, and military education,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement.

Founded in 1925 as a summer camp for Soviet pioneers, Artek quickly became the most prestigious youth resort in the USSR and abroad. It is located on the southern coast of Crimea, northeast of Yalta. After Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2014, the Russian federal government took control of the dilapidated resort and invested over $50 million to have it renovated. The resort is currently hosting 3,200 children from over 50 countries.  

London’s sanctions are based on claims by the government in Kiev that Russia was “forcibly deporting” Ukrainian children from Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. A British prosecutor at the International Criminal Court cited those allegations to issue an “arrest warrant” for Putin in March, even though the ICC lacks any jurisdiction in the matter.

Russia has evacuated thousands of residents of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson – four regions that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last September – to the interior of Russia due to the deliberate shelling of civilians by Ukrainian forces, often using NATO-supplied weapons. Kherson has since affirmed the status of Ukrainian as one of its official languages, while Kiev has outlawed the use of Russian in schools and public settings.