Ukrainian authorities have alleged that several women were raped, nine of whom became pregnant, during Russia’s occupation of Buka.
Buka, a town just outside Kyiv, was occupied by Russian troops for several weeks after Putin’s invasion of the country.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has accused the Russian military of inflicting severe violence and torture against civilians in the meantime, after the Russian military withdrew.
Ukraine’s Ombudsman for Human Rights, Lyudmila Denisova, spoke to the BBC and shed light on alleged sexually violent crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.
She also alleged that the soldiers intended to commit these acts in the hope of harassing these women to such an extent that they did not want children in the future.
According to a BBC report, Denisova said, “About 25 girls and women aged 14-24 were systematically raped during the occupation in the basement of a house in Bucha.”
“Nine of them are pregnant. Russian soldiers told them they would rape them to the extent that they would not want to have sexual contact with any men, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children.”
Denisova was asked about the scale of the alleged sexual violence that Ukrainians have faced after the Russian invasion and said that, at this stage, it was impossible to know.
“It’s impossible at the moment because not everyone is willing to tell us what happened to them,” she said.
“Most of them currently ask for psychological support, so we can’t record them as a crime until they give us their testimony.”
Denisova also said that she was getting calls through the helpline as well as channels on the Telegram social messaging app.
“A 25-year-old woman called to tell us that her 16-year-old sister was raped in the street in front of her,” Denisova said.
“She said they were screaming ‘this would happen to every Nazi prostitute’ because they raped her sister”
Allegations of rape and war crimes by Russian soldiers against Ukrainians have drawn international attention and condemnation.
Reports of increasing incidents of rape and sexual violence were discussed during the meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday. The UN Women’s Executive Director reportedly told the council after Katerina Cherepkha, president of the human rights organization La Strada-Ukraine, that “violence and rape by Russian invaders in Ukraine are now used as weapons of war.”
“We are hearing increasingly about rape and sexual violence,” UN Women’s Executive Director Seema Bauhaus told the meeting.
“The combination of mass displacement and the result of great pressure from mercenaries and the brutality displayed against Ukrainian civilians has all raised red flags.”
The Twitter page of UN Women also addressed the ongoing crisis and called for it to stop.
“We condemn the rape and sexual violence in Ukraine. They should be investigated immediately,” UN Women tweeted on Monday.
“Criminals must be held accountable. The United Nations is working with local women’s organizations to strengthen security and response services. The violence must end now.”
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Russian soldiers committed war crimes or sexual assaults during the invasion of Ukraine.
newsweek Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and Russia’s Foreign Ministry have been contacted for comment.