Forensic tests on bodies in mass graves prove Ukrainian women were raped before being killed

Forensic tests on bodies in mass graves prove Ukrainian women were raped before being killed

Forensic tests carried out on civilian corpses dumped in mass graves in the Kyiv region show women were raped before being brutally killed.

Dozens of autopsies have been carried out on mutilated corpses from Bucha, Irpin and Borodianka, with many showing signs of torture and multiple bullet holes in the back.

Vladyslav Pirovskyi, a Ukrainian forensic doctor who carried out the autopsies, told The Guardian: ‘We already have a few cases which suggest that these women had been raped before being shot to death.

‘We can’t give more details as my colleagues are still collecting the data and we still have hundreds of bodies to examine.’

His team has been analysing 15 bodies a day, with most killed by automatic gunfire.

He added: ‘There are many burnt bodies, and heavily disfigured bodies that are just impossible to identify.

‘The face could be smashed into pieces, you can’t put it back together, sometimes there’s no head at all.’

The evidence has been passed on to the region’s senior prosecutor, Oleh Tkalenko, for further investigations.

One coroner north of Kyiv said it is difficult to find signs of rape and sexual abuse because the bodies ‘are in such bad shape’.

The towns around Kyiv which were recaptured by Ukrainian forces have revealed horrific atrocities, with the bodies of hundreds of dead civilians piled up after Putin withdrew his band of thugs.

Russia has denied targeting civilians despite the many stories of gang rape, sexual abuse in front of children, torture and executions to emerge from the barbaric war.

A United Nations mission to Bucha documented ‘the unlawful killing, including by summary execution, of some 50 civilians there’, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

In the same town, 25 women aged 14 to 25 were kept in a basement and systematically raped, with nine of the women becoming pregnant in a case now recorded by human rights commissioner Lyudmila Denisova.

Many of the allegations are being passed on to the international criminal court who are probing potential war crimes being perpetrated by Putin’s forces.

Earlier this month, a pregnant 16-year-old girl recounted her horrific rape at gunpoint by a Russian soldier who ordered her to take her clothes off or he would shoot her dead.

Dasha, from the now liberated village of Krasniva in Kherson Oblast, said she had been sheltering with her family in a basement when she was singled out by a drunk soldier who savagely attacked her with her mother and siblings next door.

She told Bild: ‘At first they were completely normal. Then they started drinking. They found vodka among people in the village and drank. Then they started looking for young women. Some also grandmothers.’

One Russian soldier has even been arrested after allegedly recording himself abusing a Ukrainian baby.

The scale of the brutality has led a Ukrainian rights group to inform the UN that rape is being used as a weapon of war by the Kremlin.

An 11-year-old boy is among the alleged victims after he was reportedly raped by Russian troops in front of his mother who was tied to a chair and forced to watch.

One Russian wife was even recorded allegedly ordering her husband to rape Ukrainian women.

Kyiv’s security forces released an audio clip of a conversation between a couple, who have been identified as Roman Bykovsky and his wife Olga Bykovskaya by Radio Liberty.

In the recording, the woman – allegedly Bykovskaya – is heard telling the man that he has her permission to rape Ukrainian women while he is serving in Russia’s invading forces, so long as he does not tell her and uses contraception.

The audio clip shared by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) opened with the blue and yellow title: ‘SECURITY SERVICE INTERCEPT: Wives of Russian invaders allow their men to rape Ukrainian women.’

The voice of a woman, believed to be Olga Bykovskaya, is then heard: ‘So yeah, do it over there,’ she says. It then becomes clear what she is agreeing to. ‘Ukrainian women there. Rape them. Yeah.

‘Don’t tell me anything, understand,’ she adds with a shy laugh.

A man’s voice – believed to be that of Roman Bykovsky is then heard. ‘Uh-huh,’ he says. ‘So I should rape and not tell you anything,’ he asks, clarifying that the woman is giving him permission.

‘Yes, so that I wouldn’t know anything,’ the women’s voice says, before they are both heard laughing this time. ‘Why do you ask?’ she adds.

‘Can I really?’ he asks again.

‘Yeah, I allow you,’ she says, with a giggle. ‘Just use protection,’ she adds.

The man replies again: ‘Ok.’

Investigative journalists at Radio Liberty worked with law enforcement in Ukraine to track the phone involved in the call, with one of the numbers being traced to the Kherson region in April.

The investigators then found that the two phone numbers were linked to two accounts on Russia’s VKontakte social network – belonging to  27-year-old Roman Bykovsky and his wife Olga Bykovskaya – both originally from Orel in Russia.

Roman’s account was closed to the public, however the journalists found him pictured in photographs uploaded by one of his friends – Alexei Zabrusov – which showed that they served together in 2016 in the same army division.

From there, the investigators were able to find other friends and family members of Roman, which led them to more pictures of him in military uniform which established that is now part of Russia’s 108th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment – a unit known for its involvement in the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

They also learned that the couple had moved to the Russian occupied Crimean peninsula, approximately around 2018.

Speaking to Lithuanian lawmakers on April 12, Zelensky said: ‘In areas freed from the occupiers, the recording and investigation of war crimes committed by Russia continues. New mass graves are found almost daily.

‘Testimonials are being collected. Thousands and thousands of victims. Hundreds of cases of torture. Bodies continue to be found in drains and cellars.

‘Hundreds of cases of rape have been recorded, including those of young girls and very young children. Even of a baby!’

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