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Russian troops in Bucha turned to sexual violence against Ukrainian women, killing some, impregnating others

Business Insider US
A woman witnesses bodies being processed from a mass grave in Bucha, Ukraine.
  • The Ukrainian region of Bucha has been host to some of the war's worst atrocities.
  • Sexual violence against women is "the new weapon" used by Russian troops, a Ukrainian official said.
  • It's currently "impossible" to gauge how widespread sexual abuse is, the official added.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

After Russian troops backed out of Kyiv and the surrounding areas, the world is learning about the damage left behind in the suburb of Bucha, just over an hour's drive to Ukraine's capital, which had been under Russian control.

Bucha has been the scene of some of the war's worst atrocities — largely including sexual violence against the region's civilian women.

A woman clothed only in a fur coat was found with a bullet to the head inside of the basement of a pillaged home, the home's owner told The New York Times.

Volodymyr Shepitko, 66, told the publication his home was overtaken by Russian troops. The woman's body was found near several condom wrappers and a single used one, the outlet reported.

The Ukrainian ombudswoman for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, previously called abuse by Russian soldiers their "new weapon."

She told BBC that a group of "About 25 girls and women aged 14 to 24 were systematically raped during the occupation in the basement of one house in Bucha."

"Russian soldiers told them they would rape them to the point where they wouldn't want sexual contact with any man, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children," she said, adding that nine of them wound up pregnant.

Denisova told the outlet that it's currently "impossible" to gauge how widespread the sexual violence against women is in the region because not everyone is willing to speak up about it.

"The majority of them currently call for psychological support, so we cannot record those as crimes unless they give us their testimony," she added.


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