He Came Back

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have recorded 292 cases of sexual violence by the Russian military. This figure likely represents just the tip of the iceberg.

“He Came Back” is an investigative documentary about sexual crimes that were committed during the Russian occupation of Kyiv and Kherson oblasts in early 2022.

Two women agreed to tell journalists from the Kyiv Independent’s War Crimes Investigations Unit about what they went through and how they are seeking justice.

The unit identified both soldiers who committed rape. They also identified their superior commanders, who share the responsibility for the crimes of their subordinates.

In one of the cases, the journalists completely reconstructed the events of the crime, worked under a legend, and called civilians and military personnel in the occupied territories of Donetsk Oblast to uncover the crime.


The Kyiv Independent's journalists have identified two Russian soldiers who were involved in the rape of two women during the occupation of Kyiv and Kherson oblasts in March 2022.

The findings have served as the basis for the Kyiv Independent's documentary about Russian sexual violence in occupied parts of Ukraine – He Came Back – available in English and Ukrainian.

The Kyiv Independent confirmed that Mykola Senenko, a soldier with the 109th Motorized Rifle Regiment, raped a woman in Krasnivka, Kherson Oblast.

Senenko’s unit, part of the Russian-controlled proxy army based in occupied Donetsk Oblast, was stationed in Krasnivka during the Russian occupation of parts of Kherson Oblast in early 2022.

The other soldier, Nadbit Dabayev, private first class in the 8th Company of the 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, raped a woman in occupied Havronshchyna, Kyiv Oblast, where his brigade was stationed.

The two identified Russian soldiers have not been punished for their crimes, according to information found by the Kyiv Independent.

Olesia Bida
Editing Director
Max Yakobchuk
Olena Zashko, Oleksandra Lunina, Liza Pyrozhkova,

Yevhenii Zhulai, Oleksii Petrov

Line Producer
Anastasiia Mozghova
Yevheniia Motorevska
Editor-in-Chief of the Kyiv Independent
Olga Rudenko
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