watch us on facebook
Ukraine has identified 208 victims of sexual violence by Russian troops since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the press service of the Prosecutor General's office said on June 19.
One hundred and forty of the registered cases were against women and another 13 were against minors, according to the Prosecutor General. The office also noted that the real number of victims is likely much higher.
Prosecutor General Andrey Kostin, together with EU Ambassador for Gender Equality and Diversity Stella Ronner-Grubacic, spoke with several women who were victims of sexual violence during Russian occupation.
"The systematic use of sexual violence as a weapon of war is one of the patterns of mass crimes against civilians committed by Russian troops in Ukraine," Kostin said during the meeting on June 19.
"We also view conflict-related sexual violence as an element of genocide," he added.
Kostin also noted that a special unit has been created in the Prosecutor General's Office dedicated to investigating and prosecuting crimes of sexual violence. As part of this effort, the office will provide teams of psychologists to assist those who are victims of sexual violence.
A group of investigators recently traveled to Ukraine's northeastern Sumy Oblast where they discovered that Russian forces had set up a torture chamber at a railway station in one settlement during occupation, the Prosecutor General said, adding that one method of torture was sexual violence.