As accusations of war crimes fly, a Ukrainian woman has described a harrowing ordeal where she was repeatedly raped by “drunken Russian soldiers,” all while her 4-year-old son stood nearby and cried!
The soldiers had already shot and killed her husband when she says she was raped at gunpoint over and over again for hours. Ukraine’s prosecutor-general, Iryna Venediktova, has announced that the horrific crime is the subject of an official investigation.
Using the pseudonym Natalya, the 33-year-old mom told the Times of London that troops stormed her rural home in the suburbs of the capital, Kyiv, on March 9 — even though she had a white sheet on her gate “to show there is just a family here and no one wants any harm.”
Natalya said they were forced to leave their home with their hands raised after invading soldiers first shot their dog dead.
She said the unit’s commander, who introduced himself as Mikhail Romanov, seemed drunk — and deliberately crashed her car so that she would not be able to flee. After dark, she heard a single gunshot — and saw the body of her 35-year-old husband, “Andrey,” on the ground by their front gate, she said.
“This younger guy pulled [a] gun to my head and said, ‘I shot your husband because he’s a Nazi,’” she told the UK paper.
The couple’s 4-year-old son, Oleksii — also a pseudonym — remained oblivious while hiding in the boiler room, the mom said.
The troop who gunned down her husband then told her, “You’d better shut up, or I’ll get your child and show him his mother’s brains spread around the house,” she claimed.
“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,” she insisted.
“All the time, they held the gun by my head and taunted me, saying, ‘How do you think she sucks it? Shall we kill her or keep her alive?'”
Once she assumed the ordeal was over, she found her son paralyzed with fear and refusing to move, she said.
The two troops returned about 20 minutes later to rape her a final time, she said, saying they “were so drunk they were barely standing.” All the while, her young son was forced to hear the brutal sexual assault while still paralyzed with fear in the adjoining boiler room.
“Eventually, both of them fell asleep in the chairs. I crept into the boiler room and told my son we have to run away really fast or we will get shot,” Natalya told the UK Times.
“While I was opening the gate, my son was standing next to his father’s body, but it was dark … he did not understand it was his father,” she said.
Mom and son eventually made it to the comparative safety of Ternopil, the Ukrainian city where other family members were already sheltering and where Natalya gave her torturous story to the UK Times by phone.
Of her young son, she says he does not comprehend much. He does not understand that his father is dead.
“Even if we go to the shop, he’s asking me to buy a doughnut for him. ‘Buy a doughnut for Papa,’” she said.
She continued to tell the paper, “At the playground here, he goes up to people and says that we had to leave our house because there was war and there were bandits in the house but that Papa stayed behind. He doesn’t know his father is dead,” she said.
Natalya was later told that one of her rapists, Romanov, was thought to have been killed by Ukrainian forces in Brovary, “but I still do not know for sure if it is true.”
Natalya’s is not the only report of sexual assault by Russian forces. Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has confirmed plans to seek justice through the International Criminal Court for reported rapes, which is recognized as a war crime, the outlet noted.