First Russian Soldier Charged With Rape War Crime In Ukraine

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First Russian Soldier Charged With Rape War Crime In Ukraine

A Russian soldier has been
charged with murdering a Ukrainian man and raping his wife, Ukrainian
prosecutors said and is due to stand trial in a landmark case.

Prosecutor General Iryna
Venediktova announced the upcoming case on social media on Monday, noting that
it was the first attempt to secure a rape prosecution from Russia’s invasion.

Venediktova named the accused Mikhail Romanov, whom she said was part of a tank division that attacked the
towns and villages around Kyiv.

In a Facebook post, translated
from Ukrainian by Insider, Venediktova said Romanov was never captured, and so
would be tried in his absence. This would leave Ukraine unable to punish Romanov
without capturing him first, even if he were convicted.

Venediktova said Romanov and
other Russian troops broke into a house in Brovary, part of the Kyiv region, in
March.

She wrote that the men men
“broke into a house in one of the villages and shot its owner. A drunk
soldier, along with another occupier, immediately after the murder, raped his
wife several times.

“They threatened the
woman with weapons and violence even regarding her child, who was with her at
the time.

“Even though the accused
is not currently in our hands, he will not escape a fair trial and
accountability before the law.”

The account matches a
previous incident described by prosecutors in March, which at the time was
still under investigation. No suspect was named in the earlier account.

Venediktova told The
Guardian earlier in May that the victim was able to identify Romanov from
pictures on social media.

Venediktova told the
publication that Ukrainian authorities did not know what happened to him,
suggesting he may have been sent back to Russia, could still be fighting in
Ukraine, or could have been killed.

The Guardian said it had
contacted Romanov’s apparent partner for comment but received no response. The insider was unable to locate any means of contacting Romanov.

The announcement came
after a Russian soldier pleaded guilty in Kyiv to murdering a
62-year-old Ukrainian man.

That trial, the first of a
Russian accused of any war crime in the invasion, ended in 21-year-old Vadim
Shishimarin being sentenced to life in prison.

Ukrainian authorities say they
have recorded 10,000 war crimes committed by Russian forces during
the three-month invasion of Ukraine, including hundreds of cases of rape and
sexual violence.

In one of the most shocking
cases, Ukrainian officials said that Russian soldiers raped a one-year-old
boy, who later died of his injuries.

Investigators with the
International Criminal Court are working with Ukrainian officials to gather
evidence of possible war crimes. Russia has issued repeated blanket denials
that its troops target civilians in any way.

 

 

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