Russian troops have raped more than 100 Ukrainians with victims as young as FOUR as part of military strategy that has seen troops equipped with Viagra, UN says
- Russia is using rape as part of a deliberate military strategy in Ukraine, UN says
- Envoy verified more than 100 rapes with victims aged from four to 82 years old
- Most victims were women or girls but men and boys have also been attacked
- Soldiers have been equipped with Viagra, according to testimonies from victims
Russian troops are using rape as a weapon of war against Ukrainians, according to damning evidence collected by the UN.
Pramila Patten, UN special envoy on sexual violence, said she has verified more than 100 cases of rape against Ukrainians during the eight-month war – but the true figure is almost certain to be higher.
Victims have ranged in age from four years old to 82 and have been mostly women and girls but included a number of men and young boys, she added.
Russian soldiers are using rape as part of a ‘military strategy’ against Ukrainians, a UN special envoy has concluded (file image)
Patten said survivors have told her of genital mutilations and of soldiers ‘equipped with Viagra’ in what appears to be a ‘military strategy’ to dehumanise people.
‘When women are held for days and raped, when you start to rape little boys and men, when you see a series of genital mutilations, when you hear women testify about Russian soldiers equipped with Viagra, it’s clearly a military strategy,’ she said.
‘And when the victims report what was said during the rapes, it is clearly a deliberate tactic to dehumanise the victims.’
The United Nations has verified ‘more than a hundred cases’ of rape or sexual assaults in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February, Patten said, referring to a UN report released in late September.
The report ‘confirmed crimes against humanity committed by the Russian forces, and according to gathered testimonies, the age of the victims of sexual violence ranges from four to 82-years-old,’ she said.
Russian troops have been accused of butchering civilians in areas they occupy, and the UN now says it has verified more then 100 rapes
A Ukrainian man tries to survive in the remains of his bombed-out house in Kyiv, after Russian unleashed missiles on civilian areas
The victims are mostly women and girls, but also men and boys, she added. But ‘reported cases are only the tip of the iceberg.’
‘It’s very difficult to have reliable statistics during an active conflict, and the numbers will never reflect reality, because sexual violence is a silent crime’ that is largely underreported, she said.
Russia invaded Ukraine back in February as Putin ordered what was supposed to be a days-long ‘special military operation’ to topple the government.
But he now finds himself bogged down in an eight-month long war that looks set to continue for months longer at least, and suffering huge losses.
Ukrainian resistance has proved fiercer than almost all observers expected, and has been spurred on by atrocities that Russia troops have committed in occupied areas.
Back in April, after Putin’s men withdrew from areas around the capital Kyiv, mass graves containing the bodies of hundreds of civilians were uncovered.
Russian soldiers have sexually abused children as young a four and people as old as 82, and have been ‘equipped with Viagra’, UN says (file image)
Survivors of the occupation told how Russian soldiers hunted down anyone suspected of working with the government or military to interrogate and torture – some were ultimately killed.
Others told how soldiers came to their homes, beat or raped them, stole, and then fled as Ukraine’s forces advanced.
Kyiv argues that Moscow is fighting a genocidal war aimed at wiping out their national identity by murdering innocents, deporting people into Russia, and systemic rapes.
Putin denies that his armed forces are deliberately targeting civilians.