Ukraine’s First Lady has called for Russia’s rapist soldiers to be held to account at an international tribunal during an emotional interview on Tuesday morning.
The youngest victim registered is just four years old, while the oldest is 85.
Speaking days before the first anniversary of the launch of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, Olena Zelenska, 45, told GMB’s Susanna Reid that the prosecution office in Ukraine has registered ‘150 rape cases, where the actions of Russian occupiers are documented.
‘Unfortunately, in reality, this number is much higher, which is why we expect the support from the international community, with specific regard to a military tribunal for all of the war criminals who are committing such terrible crimes in Ukraine,’ Olena Zelenska said.
‘No one expected that this war would be so cruel. Animalistically cruel. War is always terrible but this war is staggeringly cruel.’
‘There is a lot of work that needs to be done.
‘A lot of children are already in need of psychological help and sometimes even treatment – in particular, those who witnessed the execution of their family members, kids who almost lost their lives together with their mum and dad.’
Mrs Zelenska said her own family hasn’t been immune from the suffering, adding: ‘My children are also like the other children – when they go to the basements in their school, mine come to the basement with me.’
As well as describing the situation in Ukraine – and her decision to stay in the wartorn country – she also sent a warm message of thanks to the people of Britain, the Government and the Royal Family.
She revealed that she had received a personal handwritten letter from a British woman and described it as a ‘sincere gesture’ that had reduced her to tears. She said: ‘I can honestly answer that I feel my obligation is to be here.
‘I feel thankful that I can be here because to leave Ukraine wouldn’t be easy. It would be emotionally a lot harder to be away from my people when it is such a crucial time in history.
‘Great Britain, from day one, demonstrated the most sincere and the most powerful support and this is truly a great example of leadership.