Ukrainian Parliament Member Describes Teaching Children The 'Turtle Game' To Prepare For Russian Attacks

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Ukrainian children duck and cover game
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Kira Rudyk, a member of Ukrainian Parliament, shared the heartbreaking game children are learning to stay safe from Russian airstrikes

Trying to explain to Ukrainian children what is going on with the Russian invasion of their country is a harrowing task. Kira Rudyk, leader of the Voice Party in Ukrainian Parliament, explained how kids in Ukraine are learning how to stay safe in the event of an attack.

“The most complicated thing is to explain to children what’s going on. So there is this little game that’s called the turtle game, to explain to them how to act during the attacks,” Rudyk told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“So you tell them that you go down on your belly, you open up your mouth, you close your ears with your hands, and that’s how you pretend you’re a turtle. And we had to pretend that we are turtles quite a few times today.”

In essence, the turtle game is a less horrifying way to tell kids to duck and cover. Similarly, during the Cold War era, the U.S. taught children how to duck and cover in the event of a nuclear attack with a turtle cartoon buddy, Bert the Turtle.

Up to 14 children have been killed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine already

It only been four days since Russia invaded Ukraine, and up to 14 children have lost their lives in the conflict. The first known victim was a girl named Polina. She was in 4th grade and was killed when a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group fired at her family.

Another child, whose identity has not been released, was killed by cluster munitions, which are canisters filled with explosive submunitions, or “bomblets,” that are showered over a large area. The child was taking shelter with two adults in Sonechko nursery and kindergarten in the town of Okhtyrka in Sumy Oblast when they were hit with cluster munitions.

Amnesty International confirmed a 220mm Uragan rocket dropped cluster munitions on the preschool, and that the strike “may constitute a war crime,” not just because the munitions are widely banned on an international level, but because it violates the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks.

“It is stomach-turning to see an indiscriminate attack on a nursery and kindergarten where civilians are seeking safe haven. Plain and simple, this should be investigated as a war crime,” Agnès Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International said in a press release. “There is no possible justification for dropping cluster munitions in populated areas, let alone near a school. This … shows flagrant disregard for civilian life.”

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