A refugee with her family in the basement of a school in the Kharkiv region, raped by a Russian soldier at the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Now safely, he tells his mother and sister about the occupation.
More than 80 days after the start of the war in Ukraine, the liberation of many cities is allowing women to escape the hell the Russian army has made to live. Such is the case in Mala Rohan, a village east of Kharkiv, where Anna, her sister Vika, mother Natalia and her 5-year-old daughter took refuge in a school basement to initially protect themselves from the bombing. conflict.
But on the evening of March 13, an armed Russian soldier entered the school.
“When he arrived, he shot,” Vika says. “He asked Anna to go with him. I understood what would happen to her.”
“He told her he would hurt her daughter, so she accepted everything.”
The Russian, in his twenties according to witnesses, takes Anna to a classroom, rapes and mutilates her all night long.
“When my daughter came back, her throat was cut, not very deeply. He also cut her cheek and hair. He hit her several times and the rest, I don’t want to tell you the details, but he gave her an injection, like drugs, so that she wouldn’t get hurt, ”says Natalia.
“He told her she was going to die and that he would hurt her daughter, so she accepted everything,” says the mother.
And on the day after the tragedy, while the bombing of the Kharkiv region and the east of the country continued, the family fled the city. “When we left, we walked under the fire. At the checkpoints, they asked us to get down on the ground and we did. Fortunately, the 5-year-old girl Anna was not crying,” continues Natalia.
Rape as a weapon of war
Anna is not the only victim of rape since the beginning of the conflict. Human rights organizations have reported hundreds of Russian soldiers rape civiliansthat constitute war crimes.
Since the early 2000s, many initiatives have been launched, Especially at the United Nations, to try to find solutions to avoid the use of rape as a weapon of war. However, nothing has really succeeded in stopping this phenomenon in the long term so far, especially since getting victims to speak up is a real difficulty.
“Regardless of the context, rape victims feel shock and shame. In conflict zones, there is an additional awareness that they are neither safe nor self-confident. They do not show themselves,” said human rights defender Celine Bardet: Release.