Raped because she was the wife of a Ukrainian soldier.

Elena, whose first name has been changed, tells how she found herself the victim of two Russian soldiers, raped for hours.

A testimony which illustrates the fears of human rights organizations which point to signs of the use of rape as a "weapon of war" in Ukraine.

Met in Zaporozhye, a city where thousands of displaced people thrown on the roads by the Russian occupation of southern Ukraine flock every day, this blonde woman came to wait for a bus to join her four children in Vinnytsia, in the center.

From the first day of the invasion, February 24, she sent them there, far from their home in the Kherson region (south), in the front line against the invasion.

Her husband, who has been fighting pro-Russian separatists for two years in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, sent to the front, Elena explains that she remained alone there to evacuate their property.

"It's because of people like her that this war broke out"

But due to the danger on this journey and the presence of Russian soldiers, she was unable to find a vehicle to empty their house and that is where the tragedy occurred, in the afternoon. of April 3, continues this mother.

“Around 3 p.m., I went to a grocery store.

While I was waiting in line, Russian military personnel came in and started chatting with customers,” Elena says.

"I couldn't hear what they were talking about, but I noticed that one of the inhabitants was pointing at me and saying 'it's a banderovka'", she recalls.

The man was referring to those nostalgic for Ukrainian ultranationalist leader Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union.

"" It is because of people like her that this war broke out "", he added, according to her, " " she is the wife of a soldier "".

“Without a word, they pushed me onto the bed”

“I understood that they were watching me so I quickly left the shop.

I barely had time to get inside, the two Russian soldiers entered through the door behind me.

I didn't have time to pick up my phone to call for help or do anything,” Elena says.

“Without a word, they pushed me onto the bed, crushed me with a submachine gun and stripped me,” the young woman said before bursting into tears.

"They hardly spoke, except sometimes to call me 'Banderovka' or say to each other 'your turn'.

And then, around four o'clock, they left because it was time to go and take their shifts” in their camp.

Elena says she hasn't spoken to anyone about it yet, not even a doctor or a psychologist, and especially not her husband.

“I am a midwife, I administered first aid myself,” she says.

"I will find everything I need when I arrive at my destination, I just want to find my children".

Asked about her physical and psychological state, she bursts into tears again: “I am disgusted.

I no longer want to live”.

Gang rape of mother and daughter

The Ukrainian section of the NGO La Strada, which defends women's rights, has so far received on its toll-free number "calls concerning seven cases of rape of Ukrainian women and children by Russian occupiers", said a head of the organization, Aliona Kryvouliak, who estimates that "there may be hundreds, even thousands, of women and young girls raped".

The first call, on March 4, from Kherson, related to “the gang rape of a mother and her 17-year-old daughter by three men”, the other cases were reported in the Kyiv region “after March 12” , she points out.

"Russian servicemen have committed sexual violence against Ukrainian women and men, against children and the elderly," said in a statement released this week the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova.


War in Ukraine: Women threatened by sexual violence, “inherent to wartime practices”

War in Ukraine: The bodies of 410 civilians found in the liberated territories, the UN questions a "war crime"...

  • World

  • Rape

  • sexual assault

  • Sexual violence

  • War in Ukraine

  • Russia

  • War crimes

  • Soldier