The Insider was able to identify who was beating children taken from Ukraine

One of the abusers of children taken from Ukraine to Russia was Valerii Astakhov, a former employee of the Ukrainian special police unit Berkut. He defected to Russia in 2014, according to The Insider. He was identified in the photos by the children themselves.
According to the media, Astakhov took part in the Maidan clashes in late 2013 as part of the Berkut unit, protecting then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. After the victory of the revolution and the annexation of Crimea, he left for the Russian Federation and was granted Russian citizenship. Astakhov continued to serve in the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Yevpatoria.
The Insider notes that in 2014, Astakhov had already been involved in the actual kidnapping of children: he took them from Slavyansk in the Donetsk region of Ukraine to the Rostov region of Russia. At the time, 21 children between the ages of 2 months and 12 years old were taken, and Astakhov claimed, without evidence, that the bus with them was going to be shot by the Ukrainian military.
On March 23, 17 children who had been forcibly sent to children’s camps in annexed Crimea last October by occupation authorities in the Kherson region returned to Ukraine. Some of the children who returned said that at Camp Mechta in Yevpatoria they were beaten with an iron bar for supporting Ukraine and disobedience. Then they were transferred to another camp, Druzhba, where they were periodically locked in the basement for several hours.
According to Ukrainian authorities, more than 16,000 children were illegally removed to Russia and annexed Crimea during the war. Many of them are being “re-educated”, and some are being taught how to shoot and handle machinery. So far, just over three hundred children have been returned to their homeland.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and children’s ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova for deporting children.
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