A Ukrainian official collapsed when she told the trauma the people of her city had to endure during a 35-day occupation by invading Russian troops. Maryna Beschastna, the official deputy mayor of Ivankiv, claimed in an interview that two sisters, aged 15 and 16, had been raped by Russian soldiers.
“There was a case in a village, two sisters were raped… girls aged 15 and 16… children. Women were pulled out of their cellars by their hair so they could abuse them,” Ms Beschastna said. ITV News.
She added that young girls in Ukraine have started cutting their hair to look “less attractive” and to avoid being raped by the Russians.
The reported rapes took place when Russian forces occupied the suburb of Kiev, now reconnected to the rest of the country, thanks to a new pontoon bridge built by the Ukrainian military to replace the destroyed bridge. ITV said.
Some residents of Ivankiv also shared their trauma during the month-long occupation.
Among them was a Ukrainian woman who told how she desperately tried to save her 12-year-old son who was fatally struck by shrapnel.
The woman, Elena Skoropad, said she and her husband, Sasha, took their son Artem to a hospital after a cluster munition exploded.
“On the way here in the car, Artem was shouting ‘Mama, Sasha, I love you’ all the time,” Ms. Skoropad said. ITV†
“These were his words, but he kept saying his legs hurt, his back hurt. When we brought him [to the hospital] he was still alive, but then the injuries were incompatible with life,” she added.
The schoolboy was an avid basketball player, Artem’s mother said.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian officials revealed death and destruction in Bucha, another town near the capital. Russian troops withdrew from the Kiev region about a week ago to regroup in the east, leaving scenes of death and horror in the commuter towns around the capital.
Zelensky challenged the United Nations to “act immediately” or “dissolve yourself completely” during a speech in which he showed harrowing images of dead bodies – including children – whom he believes had been victims of Russian atrocities.
On Thursday, he described the situation in Borodianka, another city near Kiev. “It is much more horrible there, there are even more victims of Russian occupiers.”
Ukraine has accused the Russians of executing hundreds of peaceful civilians during their occupation of these cities. The bodies of some of these civilians were discovered with their hands tied behind their backs.