As investigations into Russian war crimes intensify, evidence has emerged of invading Russians sexually assaulting a four-year-old Ukrainian girl and gang-raping her mother at gunpoint.
The incident is just one of thousands of documented cases of atrocities aimed at Ukrainian citizens.
The Prosecutor’s Office has stated that the incidents were among a spree of sex crimes Russian soldiers of the 15th Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade committed in four homes in the suburbs of the capitol of Kyiv in March 2022.
According to law enforcement officials, during Moscow’s failed push to capture Kyiv after its February 24 invasion, soldiers entered the town of Brovary a few days later, looting and using sexual violence as a deliberate tactic to terrorize the population, Ukrainian prosecutors say.
Most of the alleged atrocities took place on March 13 when soldiers “in a state of alcoholic intoxication broke into the yard of a house where a young family lived,” the prosecutors allege.
The father was beaten with a metal pot and then forced to kneel while his wife was gang-raped. One of the soldiers told the four-year-old girl he “will make her a woman” before she was abused, the documents said. Unlike other victims of Russian forces, the family was not murdered.
Prosecutors said they are investigating additional crimes in the area including murders during the same period.
In total, six invaders are suspected of perpetrating the attack in Brovary. According to the prosecutor’s office, the attack on the girl and her parents was carried out by two snipers, aged 32 and 28.
After the alleged attack on the girl and her parents, the two soldiers entered the house of an elderly couple next door, where they beat them, prosecutors said, also raping a 41-year-old pregnant woman and a 17-year-old girl.
In another neighborhood the soldiers forced everyone into the kitchen and gang-raped a 15-year-old girl and her mother, they said.
All the victims survived and are receiving psychological and medical assistance, the prosecutor’s office reported.
A pre-trial investigation into the possible role of senior officials in the attacks in Brovary is ongoing. This case is attached to other allegations of systematic sexual violence by Russian soldiers.
As for the two rapist snipers, according to the prosecutors, the elder one of them is dead, and the younger one, named Yevgeniy Chernoknizhniy, returned to Russia.
When Reuters asked the prosecutor’s office to name both soldiers, the prosecutor’s office provided only the name of the younger man. When reporters called his number which appeared in online databases, a man who identified himself as Chernoknizhny’s brother said he had died.
“He is dead. There’s no way you can get hold of him,” said the man, crying. “That’s all that I can say.”
Reuters reports it was unable to independently confirm his assertion.
Russia’s Defence Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. The telephone numbers of the 15th Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade of the Russian Federation did not work. Two officers from the Samara garrison, which includes the brigade, could not provide contact details for the unit, and one of them told Reuters they were classified.
– Wire services including Reuters with reference to materials from the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office