Kyiv officials have accused Russian troopers of raping Ukrainian males and boys in addition to ladies amid an ongoing investigation into dozens of instances.
Talking on Tuesday May 3, UN special representative on sexual violence in warfare Pramila Patten, warned instances already under investigation were simply ‘the tip of the iceberg.
‘I’ve acquired stories, not yet verified… about sexual violence instances against men and boys in Ukraine,’ she stated throughout a press conference in Kyiv.
She urged all survivors of rape to come forward and report any such crimes by the hands of Russian troopers, while acknowledging how difficult it’s to do so amid fears of reprisals or of Moscow’s forces returning.
She continued to say the world has allowed sexual violence to be used as a ‘cheap’ weapon of warfare for too long.
‘Cheap, because it’s cost-free. Very efficient, because it doesn’t only have an effect on the victim, it affects complete families, the communities. It is organic warfare. It’s psychological warfare,’ she stated.
Ms. Patten warned that there are seemingly many instances which have yet to be reported. These that are already under investigation to this point ‘only signify the tip of the iceberg,’ she stated.
The UN official additionally called on the international group to track down perpetrators and hold them to account.
‘Today’s documentation can be tomorrow’s prosecution,’ she informed reporters.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova stated on Wednesday that the primary stage of investigations into Russian war crimes within the suburban city of Irpin had concluded, having spoken to 228 witnesses.
In a single brutal attack, she stated a woman along with her 12-year-old son and husband have been fired at by a Russian tank while trying to evacuate the city in their automotive.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ms. Venediktova called Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘the main war felony of the twenty first century’ and accused Russia of utilizing rape as a tactic in its brutal invasion.
Visiting the devastated city of Irpin close to Kyiv, Ms Venediktova stated Ukraine was gathering information on allegations of rape, torture and different suspected war crimes by Russian forces which occupied the region for a month.
Venediktova stated the allegations included the rape of women, males, kids and an old woman. Asked whether rape was a deliberate Russian technique in the warfare, she told a news conference: ‘I’m sure truly that it was technique.’
‘That is, of course, to scare civil society… to do everything to (force Ukraine to) capitulate,’ she stated on Tuesday.
She offered no particular details of the rape allegations, saying a few of the victims remained in Ukraine and have been afraid of talking out for worry of Russian forces returning.
UN envoy Patten stated she was in Kyiv because of the rising proof of mass sexual violence carried out by Russian troopers during the war in Ukraine, and due to the risk human traffickers pose to susceptible Ukrainian refugees fleeing their houses.
‘All the warning alerts are flashing red in Ukraine, with allegations of brutal sexual violence rising,’ she stated at Tuesday’s press convention.
‘I couldn’t stay back in my office in New York, within the face of such harrowing reviews of sexual violence. I am right here because we should spare no effort to make sure zero tolerance and constant consequences for these crimes.’
Standing alongside Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Olga Stefanishnina, Ms. Patten urged all victims to come forward and to report Russian warfare crimes.
‘It is hard for women and girls to report [rape] due to stigma amongst different reasons, nevertheless it’s typically even harder for men and boys to report,’ she stated.
‘We’ve to create that secure area for all victims to report instances of sexual violence.’
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