Russia continues to employ sex violence in its military and occupation operations in Ukraine - UN

Both civilians and POWs suffered
Both civilians and POWs suffered

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recorded 85 cases of war-related sexual violence in 2023, said the Special UN Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, Voice of America reported.

These crimes were committed against both civilians and prisoners of war (POWs).

The victims were 52 men, 31 women, one girl, and one boy.

Sexual violence is used as a method to torture adult men in Russian captivity.

Apart from rape, Russian soldiers also use electric shock to the genitals or breasts, genital mutilation, forced undressing and nudity, and threats of castration.

The rape of six women was documented in the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented 125 cases of sexual violence in 2022, against 80 men, 42 women, and 3 girls.

There were documented cases of rape, including a gang rape of 10 women, one girl, and one man.

Evidence collected proved Russian authorities are guilty of allowing sexual and gender-based violence (rape, sexual slavery against women, men, and girls), the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine reported in 2023.

The UN has registered more than a thousand attacks on medical facilities since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has made it even more difficult for rape victims to seek help, the report said.

Ukraine documents and collects convincing evidence of Russians systematically using sex as a part of their military and torture operations, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Serhiy Kyslytsia, said.

Ukrainian investigative bodies reported 290 cases of sexual violence against 102 men and 188 women.

The Independent UN Commission’s conclusions highlight organized torture taking place in Ukraine, with the full knowledge and tacit approval of Russia's top military and police. This results in a pervasive sense of immunity in the perpetrators, said Kyslytsia, who called on the international community to redouble its efforts to pressure Russia to end its aggressive actions against Ukraine and hold it accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ukrainian authorities, with UN support, have opened 11 centers to assist victims, including two mobile centers.  An interactive map of services available throughout Ukraine was also created.

More than seventy countries also contributed to this initiative.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine