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Ukraine: UN calls for investigations into allegations of rape committed by Russian soldiers

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Published on: 04/12/2022 – 17:24 While the International Criminal Court (ICC) has already launched an investigation into possible sexual violence committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, UN officials are also calling for independent investigations . Several testimonies collected by the media and NGOs attest to the use of rape as a “weapon of war”. UN officials called Monday, April 11, independent investigations into violence against women in Ukraine since the invasion of the Russian army. “We are hearing more and more about rape and sexual violence,” warned Sima Bahous, the director of the UN Women agency, during a meeting of the Security Council. “Violence and rape are now used as a weapon of war by the Russian invaders in Ukraine”, said Kateryna Cherepakha, president of the women’s rights group La Strada-Ukraine, heard before the Council on video. The Ukrainian section of La Strada has set up a number green for Ukrainian women victims of violence. The NGO had reported “calls concerning seven cases of rape of Ukrainian women and children by Russian occupiers” to AFP on April 7. But she expected much higher numbers as the shock and the shock of the victims dissipate. “There may be hundreds, even thousands, of women and young girls raped”, had then estimated Aliona Kryvouliak, an official of the organization. The first call, on March 4, from Kherson, was about “the gang rape of a mother and her 17-year-old daughter by three men”, the other cases were reported in the Kyiv region “after March 12” , she pointed out. 03:48 Collection of evidenceIn the field, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Iryna Venediktova, insisted last week on the need to collect evidence, while acknowledging the difficulty of collecting it in a country at war, in areas where the mobile or electrical telephone network is disrupted. “Russian soldiers have committed sexual violence against Ukrainian women and men, against children and the elderly,” she said. In addition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) , several European countries have already launched investigations and prosecutors are beginning to gather evidence for future legal proceedings. Russia’s denial For its part, Moscow rejects these allegations, even accusing the Ukrainian authorities of organizing “staged” Accusations of rape in Ukraine, raised on Monday before the UN Security Council, were denied by Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, while the he Russian Defense Ministry website reported that the Ukrainian government was sowing false evidence of Russian violence against civilians. With AFP and Reuters

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