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Ukraine rights group tells UN top body rape used as weapon of war – SABC News

The United Nations is increasingly hearing reports of rape and sexual violence in Ukraine, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Monday, as a Ukrainian human rights group accused Russian troops of using rape as a weapon of war.

Kateryna Cherepakha, President of La Strada-Ukraine, said her organization’s emergency numbers had received calls accusing Russian soldiers of nine counts of rape involving 12 women and girls.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” she told the council via video. “We know and see – and we want you to hear our voices – that violence and rape are now being used as weapons of war by Russian invaders in Ukraine.”

Russia has repeatedly denied attacking civilians since beginning its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The United Nations said last week that UN human rights monitors are trying to probe allegations of sexual violence by Russian forces, including gang rapes and child rapes, and claim Ukrainian forces and civil defense militias also committed sexual violence.

The Ukrainian UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on allegations against Ukrainian forces.

“Russia, as we have stated more than once, is not waging war against civilians,” Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, told the Security Council on Monday, accusing Ukraine and its allies of “a clear intention to portray Russian soldiers as sadists.” and rapists.”

United Nations Executive Director for Women Sima Bahous said all allegations must be independently investigated to ensure justice and accountability.

“We are increasingly hearing about rape and sexual violence,” she told the council. “The combination of mass displacement with heavy pressure from conscripts and mercenaries and brutality against Ukrainian civilians has raised all the red flags.”

All sides in the Ukraine war have systems of conscription, where young men are legally required to perform military service. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of using mercenaries.

Russia says it is conducting a “special military operation” to support declarations of independence by separatists in two provinces in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Security Council that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine “is launching a special mechanism to document cases of sexual violence by Russian soldiers against Ukrainian women.”

Ukraine rights group tells UN top body rape used as weapon of war – SABC News

Source link Ukraine rights group tells UN top body rape used as weapon of war – SABC News

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