Students of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy — a powerful youth leadership movement in Ukraine — with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, embarked on a European expedition with a 50-kilogram book titled Crime Without Punishment. The youth presented this epic saga to NATO, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and other organizations in Poland, Germany, France, Belgium, and Austria.
The creation of the book was inspired by the events of March 17, 2023, when the second chamber of the pre-trial hearing of the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and Maria Alexeevna Lvova-Belova.
The arrest warrant is a relatively small document that does not convey the full weight of the Russian Federation’s crimes against humanity, and intentional attempts to erase the ethnic and national identity of abducted Ukrainian children. And given that no one has been detained, this is a crime without punishment. Therefore, the Ukrainian Leadership Academy decided to show the world what “modern Russian classics” look like.
“Through our advocacy campaign, we appeal to the European Union to hold Russian criminals accountable for starting a genocidal war in Ukraine and to tell about one of the major crimes recognized by the Hague Court — the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children from the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories,” explains Evgeniya Mateychuk, CEO of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy.
To date, thanks to the investigation of the Conflict Observatory Yale HRL, it is known for certain that 6,000 forcibly deported Ukrainian children were taken to the Russian Federation and temporarily occupied territories, about 43 camps where Russians conduct ideological, linguistic, and cultural retraining of young Ukrainians, and about adoption, which is prohibited during the war. However, this is only the minimum amount of evidence gathered. According to some sources, the number of illegally deported children approaches tens of thousands, while others suggest hundreds of thousands.
The 50-kilogram, 6,000-page Crime Without Punishment book was developed by Ukrainian creative agency Bickerstaff.942 in collaboration with the Ukrainian Leadership Academy. The agency explains that the book is still a work in progress, as the real number of kidnapped children and all the declassified materials of the case can only be known once the trial of the criminals is conducted.
“Modern Russian classics are written in blood – this crime is happening right now, and this book is being written right now. What will be its ending, and whether there will be a logical conclusion with the criminals receiving punishment, depends on whether the support for Ukraine will continue or if the world will eventually “get tired” and the criminals will get away with it,” says Ilya Anufrienko, creative director of Bickerstaff.942.
“Probably the most anticipated book of the year,” comments the Ukrainian Leadership Academy.