'Rape is now a Russian weapon of war' Ukraine rights group tells UN
12th April 2022

‘Rape is now a Russian weapon of war’ Ukraine rights group tells UN as official says boy, 11, was sexually assaulted in front of his mother who was tied up and forced to watch

  • Rights group received multiple calls about alleged rapes by Kremlin troops
  • One Russian soldier has been reportedly arrested for abusing a baby in Ukraine
  • Women have been raped in front of their family before being slaughtered 

Russia is using rape as a weapon of war, a Ukrainian rights group has told the UN as more horrific stories of sexual violence emerge from the barbaric invasion.

Kateryna Cherepakha, president of La Strada-Ukraine, said her organisation’s emergency hotlines had received calls accusing Russian soldiers of nine cases of rape involving 12 women and girls.

She told the UN: ‘This is just the tip of the iceberg. We know and see – and we want you to hear our voices – that violence and rape is used now as a weapon of war by Russian invaders in Ukraine.’

An 11-year-old boy is among the alleged victims after he was reportedly raped by Russian troops in front of his mother who was tied to a chair and forced to watch.

Ukraine’s Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova said the boy was attacked in Bucha where scores of dead civilians showing signs of torture were found weeks after it was recaptured.

Alexei Bychkov (pictured), 24, has allegedly been arrested after footage emerged of him abusing a baby

Denisova also claimed that five soldiers in Putin’s army raped a 14-year-old girl who has become pregnant. 

She said an estimated 120,000 Ukrainian children were rounded up and kidnapped, with some raped and others smuggled over to Russia.

On April 8, a 16-year-old girl and 78-year-old woman were among those raped, official Oleksandr Vilkul claimed.

Meanwhile, one of Putin’s soldiers has been arrested after footage emerged of him allegedly raping a baby in Ukraine.

Alexei Bychkov, 24, sent the vile footage to a Russian comrade before he was detained on Saturday, it was reported.

The soldier is said to have shared other videos of his abuse of children to other friends and colleagues.

Tetiana Zadorozhniak (pictured with godchildren) is thought to have been raped and slaughtered in the town of Makariv, 30 miles from Kyiv, last month

Bloodstained sheets were filmed at Tetiana’s supposed murder scene, while footage also shows rooms in the house where contents had been smashed and thrown about. The camerawoman could be heard sobbing as she described the scene

Elsewhere in Bucha, 25 girls and woman aged 14 to 25 were ‘systematically’ raped while being held captive in a basement, it has been claimed.

Nine of the women are now pregnant.

Denisova said: ‘Russian soldiers told them they would rape them to the point where they wouldn’t want sexual contact with any man, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children.’ 

Meanwhile a 50-year-old woman who lives 45 miles of Kyiv said a Chechen soldier barged into the home she shared with her husband on March 7.

She told the BBC: ‘At gunpoint, he took me to a house nearby. He ordered me: “Take your clothes off or I’ll shoot you.” He kept threatening to kill me if I didn’t do as he said. Then he started raping me.

‘While he was raping me, four more soldiers entered. I thought that I was done for. But they took him away. I never saw him again.’ 

When she returned home, she found her husband had been shot in the abdomen and he died two days later from his injuries.

An armoured vehicle of pro-Russian troops is seen in the street during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol

Horror tales of sexual abuse in Ukraine 

Elena: Raped for 12 hours on April 3 in Kherson after a Russian sympathiser told the troops her husband was a Ukrainian soldier on the front line.

Mother and daughter, 17: The pair were attacked together by three men on March 4

Teenage sisters: Girls aged 15 and 16 were targeted, as they resorted to cutting their hair to appear less attractive to the invaders

Natalya, 33: Gang raped repeatedly for hours while her four-year-old son hid crying in a boiler room after her husband was shot dead

Alexei Bychkov, 24: Russian soldier allegedly arrested after sharing footage of him abusing a Ukrainian baby

Boy, 11: Raped in front of his mother who was tied to a chair and forced to watch

25 women in Bucha aged 14 to 25: Held captive in a basement and systematically raped, with nine now pregnant

Woman, 50: Taken at gunpoint to a neighbouring home, raped and returned home to her husband shot dead 

She buried her husband in the back garden and the soldiers who interrupted the rape stayed in her house for days, drinking and pointing their gun at her while asking to hand over her husband’s belongings.

The same attacker allegedly raped and killed another woman in the same village, slitting her throat in an evacuated home.

In another chilling case, Russian soldiers entered the home of a family of three, where they killed the husband before repeatedly raping the wife.

They would even leave before returning three times to rape her again, threatening harm to her young boy if she resisted, the police chief said.

When they finally left for the final time, they burned down the home and shot dead their dogs. 

Footage has also emerged purporting to show the murder scene of a Ukrainian woman allegedly held captive and raped by soldiers under the command of Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov.

The clip, shared on Telegram and Twitter by Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, showed the inside of a house where Tetiana Zadorozhniak is thought to have been slaughtered in the town of Makariv, 30 miles from Kyiv, last month.

According to residents of the town, Tetiana was dragged out of her home by Kadyrov’s men as she waited to evacuate the town with her friend before being held captive in a nearby house and abused.

After days of torture, one of the soldiers raped her for a final time before cutting her throat and unceremoniously dumping her lifeless body in a shallow grave, local residents said.  

Witnesses claimed that the Chechen soldier who raped and killed Tetiana was later executed by other officers. 

Russia has repeatedly denied attacking civilians since its invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

The United Nations said last week that human rights monitors were seeking to verify allegations of sexual violence by Russian forces, including gang rape and rapes in front of children.

Ukraine’s U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on allegations against Ukraine forces.

‘Russia, as we have stated more than once, does not wage war against the civilian population,’ Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy told the Security Council on Monday, accusing Ukraine and allies of ‘a clear intention to present Russian soldiers as sadists and rapists.’

UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, said that all allegations must by independently investigated to ensure justice and accountability.

‘We are increasingly hearing of rape and sexual violence,’ she told the council. ‘The combination of mass displacement with the large pressure results of conscripts and mercenaries and the brutality displayed against Ukrainian civilians has raised all red flags.’

All sides in the Ukraine war have systems of conscription, where young men are required by law to do military service. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of using mercenaries.

Russia says it is carrying out a ‘special military operation’ to support independence declarations by separatists in two provinces in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Security Council that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine was ‘launching a special mechanism of documentation of cases of sexual violence by Russian soldiers against Ukrainian women.’

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