Russia says Ukraine spared girl who spoke at pro-war rally. Those who know her fear she has become a victim
CNN revealed more details this week about the Mariupol teenager who spoke on stage during a pro-war rally attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 22.
The woman, named Anna, became emotional and was then encouraged by an organizer to hug a man in uniform.
Children’s groupThe men, also described as rescuers from eastern Ukraine, were led to embrace the man.
CNN’s Melissa Bell reports that Anna’s mother, a single mother of three, was killed in Mariupol after breaking out of a basement shelter.
Bell said they were able to find a relative and a woman who had been sheltering in town for weeks with Anna.
The woman was shocked and broke down in tears at one point, telling CNN, “This is a child and what they’re doing to her is absolutely inhumane.”
Bell also reported that the girl faced abuse online for her appearance.
Anna “has been a victim of this war many times,” the woman said.
“This is an extraordinary story of a woman who was completely vulnerable and exposed to public abuse,” Bell said.
According to a new report released in mid-February, the Russian government is operating a network of camps housing thousands of Ukrainian children and has launched a campaign of political re-education.