16:29 27 Apr 2022

Ombudsman's Office received about 400 appeals about cases of rape by russian occupiers, ombudsman reports

From April 1 to 14, the Ombudsman's Office received about 400 complaints of sexual violence by the russian occupiers.

This was announced by the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova in an interview with Suspilne.

In particular, citizens from the temporarily occupied or already liberated territories apply.

"There are such appeals from the Kherson region now. Where the mobile service is renewed, people tell their stories. And if there is no service, how will they call?" Denisova declared.

According to the ombudsman, people began actively calling the hotline for psychological help when the Ukrainian military began liberating the occupied cities of the Kyiv region in late March.

Then hundreds of civilians were finally able to get out of the basements of Bucha, Irpin, Borodianka, and more. Asking for help, people admitted to being victims of sexual violence by russian invaders.

About 400 such appeals were received in the first two weeks of April, and they continue to arrive, says Liudmyla Denisova.

The Commissioner admits that 5 psychologists of the Office do not cope with such a load.

"So I asked UNICEF to almost double the number of psychologists, to provide quality care and to avoid burnout, including those psychologists who receive such appeals day and night. And these cases are very terrible," she said.

The Office of the Ombudsman now faces the task of recording all the horrific facts of sexual violence, determining the compliance of russia's actions with international humanitarian law and compliance with the Geneva Conventions and their protocols, to tell the world about everything.

In addition, Denisova believes that sexual violence may in the future affect the desire or even the ability of affected women and girls to have children.

In this regard, the ombudsman sees in the actions of the russian invaders signs of genocide.

"There are also signs of genocide when children are taken away so that Ukraine has no future. No children means no future, no Ukrainians. This is the genocide of the Ukrainian people," said the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Earlier, Liudmyla Denisova repeatedly spoke about the atrocities of the russians in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In Irpin, in particular, the invaders raped her mother and younger sister in front of the girl, as a result of which both died.

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