Two Russian soldiers raped Ukranian mother after killing husband as her four-year-old son cried – TrendyNewsReporters
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Two Russian soldiers raped Ukranian mother after killing husband as her four-year-old son cried

A Ukrainian woman said she was raped repeatedly by two Russian soldiers in her home after they shot and killed her husband while her four-year-old son cried nearby, in a case that could be the first to be heard as a war crime from the Russian invasion.

Natalya, who did not give her real name, told her story to The Times after Ukraine’s prosecutor-general announced the first official investigation had been opened into an attack perpetrated by a drunken Russian soldier, who allegedly killed a Ukrainian civilian before he and a colleague raped the civilian’s wife, using threats of violence.

Natalya, 33, told the newspaper that on 8 March, after learning that Russian troops had entered the village of Shevchenko in the Brovary district of Kyiv, she and her husband Andrey, 35, had hung a white sheet from their gate to show there was a family inside and wanted no harm.

She told the newspaper that the next day a group of soldiers had shot their family dog, and their commander, who identified himself as Mikhail Romanov, appeared drunk at the time. Natalya claimed Romanov shot at her husband’s car before taking the keys to her own vehicle and crashing it into a fallen tree trunk. The group then left.

She said Romanov returned later with a man in his twenties wearing a black uniform, and that when her husband went outside after hearing a commotion at the gate he was shot and killed. When she asked where her husband was, Natalya claimed the younger soldier pulled a gun to her head and said: “I shot your husband because he’s a Nazi.”

Examples of war crimes allegedly committed by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine

  • Bombing of Mariupol theatre Russia was accused of committing a war crime by the Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba after an estimated 300 people were killed after a theatre being used as a bomb shelter by civilians was struck in an air strike. Around 600 civilians, mostly women with children and elderly people, had been inside the building at the time. The word “children” was written in Russian on the ground outside.
  • Mariupol maternity hospital the shelling of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, in which three people included a child were killed, was referred to in a statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as the White House formally accused Russian forces of committing war crimes. Mr Blinken said there had been “numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities” committed by Russian troops.
  • Rape as an ‘instrument of war’ Last week, Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova announced the allegation made by woman was being investigated by the state. It is the first rape charge brought against Russian troops since the invasion began more than a month ago. Following the reports, Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko said Russia was using “rape as an instrument of war”, while Mr Kuleba had previously stated that Russian soldiers had committed sexual crimes in Ukraine.

She claimed to the newspaper that as she called to her son to stay in the boiler room where they had been hiding from shelling, the soldier told her: “You’d better shut up or I’ll get your child and show him his mother’s brains spread around the house”.

Natalya said the two men then attacked over a prolonged period of time. “He told me to take my clothes off. Then they both raped me one after the other. They didn’t care that my son was in the boiler room crying.”

The soldiers left, at which point Natalya said she was able to go to her son, but the soldiers returned after around 20 minutes and raped her again. “When they came back for the third time, they were so drunk they were barely standing,” Natalya told the newspaper.

Natalya said that when the soldiers fell asleep in two chairs in the house she crept to the boiler room to get her son and fled to her in-laws in Brovary. She said they had to pass her husband’s body as they escaped, but her son did not recognize his father.

More on the Russia-Ukraine war

The pair are now in a town near the western city of Ternopil, where Natalya’s husband’s sister had been evacuated with her children. But Natalya said she still has not been able to break the news to her son that his father is dead, and the family are unable to uncover his body because the village is still under occupation.

Natalya’s aim in speaking out is to dispel disbelief surrounding claims of rape by Russian soldiers. “I understand that many people who have been hurt would stay silent because they are afraid,” she told The Times, and that “lots of people don’t believe terrible things like this happen”.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said last week the country has informed Russia that the soldier is wanted “on suspicion of violating the laws and customs of war” after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Last week dozens of nations met in The Hague to pledge their support to the International Criminal Court’s investigation in Ukraine, offering money, technology, and expertise to the probe.


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