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NATO Vows to Add Ukraine, Russian War Crimes Exposed: 'Tens of Thousands of Children Kidnapped'

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A high-profile meeting took place in Ukraine on Thursday, with NATO's Secretary General visiting Kyiv for the first time since Russia invaded more than a year ago.

Jens Stoltenberg met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss military aid, as well as Ukraine's potential to one day join NATO. 

Even before the war began, Russia's Vladimir Putin made clear his stance on Ukraine staying out of the military alliance. Thursday, a Kremlin spokesperson called any Ukrainian move to join NATO a, "serious, significant threat," to Russia's national security. But Stoltenberg says Ukraine's membership is imminent. 

"Let me be clear, Ukraine's rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family. Ukraine's rightful place is in NATO, and over time our support will help you make this possible," Stoltenberg said from Kyiv. 

The NATO leader's visit is symbolic of the alliance's commitment to helping Ukraine defend itself. Support that will continue for as long as it takes. 

"We must continue to strengthen Ukraine's armed forces and we must ensure that robust, powerful arrangements are in place for Ukraine's security," Stoltenberg said.

Russian Human Rights Abuses

Meanwhile, in Washington, lawmakers heard firsthand testimony of Russian war crimes and human rights abuses. 

"In January of this year, they came for me...they took me to their torture chamber and kept me there for 5 days...this was terrible. I was beaten...they forced me to undress...cutting my body with a knife and threatening to rape and kill me...also forced me to dig my own grave," said a Kherson resident who identified herself only as Lyubov. 

Rep. Mike McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says Russia has made clear its intention to wipe out Ukraine's existence. 

"These are more than war crimes. These are more than crimes against humanity. What we are witnessing in Ukraine is genocide," he said during this week's hearing.

McCaul also referred to the thousands of children kidnapped and deported to Russia. 

"Tens of thousands of children have been kidnapped, handed over to Russian families, and forced into pro-Russian re-education systems," McCaul said.

CBN News spoke with Nataliya Khomyak of Orphan's Promise about the kidnappings. She says Putin actually changed adoption laws to make it easier to place these children with Russian families. 

"These children have been taken into summer camps, they have been taken from orphanages, a majority of them do have living parents or relatives," Khomyak said.

Lawmakers from both parties agree Russia is committing crimes against humanity in Ukraine. Meanwhile, with ongoing support from the U.S., NATO, and other countries, Ukraine is expected to launch a counteroffensive against Russia this spring.


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About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT