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Ukrainian mom ‘repeatedly raped’ by Russian troops near son

Ukrainian mom repeatedly raped by Russian troops near son


A Ukrainian woman has said she was repeatedly raped at gunpoint for hours by drunken Russian troops who shot her husband dead — and as her terrified 4-year-old son sobbed nearby.

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 — whose rape Ukraine’s prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova had announced was the subject of an official investigation — said they were forced to leave their home with their hands raised after invading soldiers first shot dead their dog.

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.

A soldier stands on a bridge destroyed by the Ukrainian army to prevent the passage of Russian tanks near Brovary on March 28, 2022.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

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.

soldiers stand in front of a destroyed farm that was attacked by Russian forces on March 28, 2022.
Soldiers stand in front of a destroyed farm that was attacked by Russian forces on March 28, 2022.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

“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.”

A long trench built by Ukrainian soldiers is seen near the front line in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv on March 28, 2022.
A long trench dug by Ukrainian soldiers near the front line in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on March 28, 2022.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

“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 spoke to the UK Times by phone.

A soldiers guards near a front line in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv.
A soldiers mans a position near a front line in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

But young Oleksii still “doesn’t know about his dad,” she said.

“Even if we go to the shop, he’s asking me to buy a doughnut for him. ‘Buy a doughnut for Papa,’” she said.

“He doesn’t understand much … In 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.

Ukrainian soldiers walk near the front line in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv on March 28, 2022.
Ukrainian soldiers walk near the front line in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on March 28, 2022.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Adding to the grief, Natalya said they “cannot bury” her husband, who had built their home.

“We can’t get to the village, because the village is still occupied,” she said.

“I don’t know how I will live with all of it but I still understand that my husband built this house for us. I would never be able to bring myself to sell it.”

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces go through belongings Russian soldiers left behind after Ukrainian forces routed their armored vehicles.
Members of the Ukrainian armed forces go through belongings Russian soldiers left behind after Ukrainian forces routed their armored vehicles.
REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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.”

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.



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