"Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Shortly after Russia's deliberate sabotage of the Kakhovska hydroelectric power plant, which left several Ukrainian regions in the ecological disaster zone, the Kremlin announced that Ukrainian children will be taken to Crimea under the pretext of their evacuation from the disaster zone and subsequent rehabilitation.
In reality, the Russian Federation fearing an attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces plans to cover itself with Ukrainian children, according to ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets, as he has announced in his telegram channel. The Russians will place Ukrainian children at recreation bases near military facilities - or near places where weapons, warehouses, surface-to-air missiles, and artillery crews are concentrated. To put it simply, Russia will use Ukrainian children as human shields - a similar terrorist approach already used by the Kremlin. In 2014, when the annexation of Crimea was in full swing, the Russian president stated that, if necessary, the Russian army would enter the peninsula and stand behind women and children to stop the resistance of the Ukrainian armed forces, who would not shoot at their own citizens.
There is a clear cause-and-effect relationship between the deliberate sabotage of the Kakhovskaya HPP dam and the intention to evacuate Ukrainian children to Crimea under the pretext of rescuing them from the consequences of the flood. In an effort to stop the counter-attack by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Russia has flooded at least 600 thousand square kilometres of land in the Kherson region. The Ukrainian children, who are being transported to Crimea in areas that are in close proximity to military facilities, are being used to blackmail Ukraine. In the most cynical and callous way, by hiding behind children, the Russian invaders are trying to protect themselves from attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. There is further concern that they may commit terrorist acts against the children as part of their deranged slash and burn strategy.
The Kremlin continues to inflict terror and war crimes against Ukraine. The destruction of the Kakhovska hydroelectric plant was a psychopathic act of vandalism, and it will take years and huge expense to rebuild the dam and repair the ecological damage. But the worst crimes Putin and his associates have committed are those against the defenceless population, especially children. Since the unprovoked invasion in aggressively conducting the war with their nazi tactics, the Russian Federation has forcibly deported at least 19393 young Ukrainians and it is a huge problem to get them back to their homeland and their families.
For Putin's regime, Ukrainian children are just a shield behind which Wagner's bloody mercenaries or Shoigu's cowardly soldiers can hide. Russia is a terrorist state that takes civilians hostage, but they will get their karma, and when they do, justice will deliver their deserts for all the atrocities committed.
Russia is speculating on the "grain agreement" by preventing Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea. On 30 and 31 May, without any explanation, Russia registered for inspection only one arriving vessel to the port of Chernomorsk. And on 4 June, having registered two vessels, the Russians ignored the need to inspect 56 vessels that had been waiting in Turkish territorial waters for a long time for permission to enter Ukrainian ports.
Russia's Black Sea blockade of Ukraine's maritime trade with other countries amounts to piracy, or at least the threat of piracy. Russian warships are planting sea mines and firing missiles at commercial vessels, regardless of which flag they are flying and denying them access to Ukrainian ports. By accepting Russia's veiled threats to sink foreign-flagged merchant vessels in international waters, the global community has allowed the Kremlin to successfully blackmail the entire world.
With limited manoeuvres, Russia decided to playtime slash and burn card by blowing up the Kakhovska hydroelectric dam on 6 June, which will have a negative effect on the new Ukrainian harvest in the second half of 2023 and early 2024 leading potentially to an environmental and food disaster.
This was a pre-emptive strike by Russia against their main competitor for grain production on the world market, by which Russia wants to force major importers to buy their own agricultural products.
Today, the UN estimates that some 1.7 billion people in the world, mostly located in Africa, face starvation due to food system disruptions caused by Russia's invasion and war against Ukraine. Africa is a huge food market and leverage point and just on the eve of the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg in July, by claiming not to extend the "grain deal", Moscow is actually blackmailing African countries with hunger so that they are forced to support Russia's aggressive policy.
Today, because of Russia's blatant terrorist actions, few countries are willing to have friendly relations with the pariah country. Moscow deserves only tougher sanctions and global isolation.