The bizarre claim that Russia is running a network of camps, holding children as hostages, and illegally deporting Ukrainian children is total FAKE NEWS.

Posted BY: Sputnik

There’s radio silence from legacy media as a new exposé completely undermines “the allegation by the ICC… that Russia is running a network of camps that are holding children as hostages and committing a war crime by illegally deporting Ukrainian children.”

A stunning new report has debunked the narrative that camps in Russia for children from the Donbas constitute ‘crimes against humanity,’ completely undermining the allegations that serve as the basis for the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In late March, the Prosecutor General for the ICC claimed that President Putin had personally committed a “war crime,” citing what it insisted was the “unlawful deportation” and “unlawful transfer” of children from the regions of the Donbas that the Kyiv regime claims as its own.

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The ICC prosecutor “appeared to have based his arrest warrant on research produced by Yale University’s Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL),” a State Department-funded entity whose executive director, Nathaniel Raymond, recently claimed on CNN that “thousands of children are in a hostage situation,” per The Grayzone, an independent American investigative outlet.

State Department spokesman Ned Price seized on that report, which his employer funded, to condemn what he called “Russia’s system of forced relocation, re-education, and adoption of Ukraine’s children,” an allegation which was later echoed by the ICC.

But “according to the Yale Lab,” Grayzone journalist Jeremy Loffredo explained in a new video report, the outrageous allegations of war crimes on the part of the Russian President were based on simple Google searches, involved “zero interviews with actual victims… [and] the researchers didn’t even attempt to see any of the camps in person.”

Now the Grayzone has unveiled never-before-seen footage, captured by Jeremy Loffredo in Russia last year, showing the alleged “re-education” camps – and they’re nothing like what the State Department claims.

Although the Yale researchers and the International Criminal Court “are probably under the impression that no Western journalist has been to these so-called ‘re-education camps,’” Loffredo explains in a new video report, “that assumption would be wrong.” Indeed, the journalist says, “I visited one of these camps four months ago – unaware that it would be so important to future war propaganda.”

Rather than a re-education camp, Loffredo explains with his co-author, Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal, he found “a hotel full of happy campers receiving free classical music lessons in their native Russian language from first-class instructors.”

Loffredo interviewed one of the camp’s instructors, violin teacher Peter Lundstrom, who said that many of the 80 children from the Donetsk and Lugansk region who came to the music camp had first-hand experience with the war that’s been raging in the backyard for over nine years: “Some of them lost their relatives and friends,” he notes. “In the conflict zone, they cannot continue their professional music studies.”

In a subsequent interview with the Grayzone, HRL’s executive director admitted the camps were actually less Third Reich and more “teddy bear.” In other words, the lead author of the report used to justify an ICC arrest warrant for the Russian president seemed to acknowledge that the kids aren’t being stolen, but are merely being given respite from the trauma of life in a conflict zone.

Detailing his findings in comments given to Sputnik News, Blumenthal says their report “completely demolishes the entire case” against the Russian President and “exposes it as a public relations stunt that is driven by a hyper-politicized [ICC] prosecutor captured by the US and a State Department-funded report.”

Between Loffredo’s trip to one of the camps in question, the original text of the report at the center of the allegations, and the Grayzone’s interview with the director of the group which authored it, Blumenthal says the “three layers of journalistic inquiry” totally debunk “the allegation by the ICC… that Russia is running a network of camps that are holding children as hostages and committing a war crime by illegally deporting Ukrainian children.”

But despite the groundbreaking nature of their findings, Blumenthal says not a single mainstream media has reached out to him in the 24 hours since publishing the report: “Western media is doing all it can to ignore this devastating debunking of the Yale HRL report that inspired the ICC arrest warrant,” he noted.

But this shouldn’t as a surprise, the award-winning journalist says because mainstreams outlets are seeking to “prevent the populations of countries whose governments are sponsoring this proxy war from learning the truth – which is that this is a politicized warrant driven by a bogus investigation that relied on no field research, whose own report debunks itself.”

Ironically, concludes Blumenthal, it’s clear the ICC warrant and the US government-sponsored report it’s based on were both “designed to obstruct diplomacy with the Russian government in order to prolong the war, and therefore to increase the level of human rights abuses that have been taking place.”