UN Security Council learns of Russian atrocities against Ukrainian women and girls: rape, mass kidnapping

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UkraineThe United Nations ambassador surprised many today when he told members of the United Nations Security Council that Russia he had kidnapped 121,000 Ukrainian children from his country since the start of his bloody invasion. The council met to learn about the impact of the Russian war against Ukraine on women and children.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s permanent representative, told council members that most of the children he said were abducted by the Russians were orphans and not those with parents and other relatives. He said the kidnappings were a flagrant violation of international law and conventions. He also claimed that Russia was reportedly drafting a bill that would “simplify and speed up procedures for the adoption of abducted Ukrainian children…”.

Kyslytsya said that the withdrawal of Russian troops from some areas has left a trail of “unimaginable suffering, with murder, unspeakable torture and sexual violence, including rape and mutilation”.

He gave an example that he said he was being investigated by the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office for a case in which “a Russian soldier killed a local resident and then repeatedly raped his wife in their private home. The identity of the suspect has been established.” “. He called on the international community to investigate this and other crimes.

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He emotionally concluded his speech by reading a letter from a nine-year-old boy to his dead mother.

“Mom. This letter is my gift to you on Women’s Day on March 8… Thank you for the best 9 years of my life! Thank you so much for my childhood! You are the best mom in the world. Never I will forget you! I wish you good luck in heaven. I wish you to reach paradise. I will try to behave myself to reach paradise too. Kiss you, your Tolya.”

Linda Thomas Greenfield United States ambassador to the United Nations pointed to the Russian president: “When men like President Putin start wars, women and children are displaced. Women and children are injured. Women and children are raped and abused. And women and children are children die,” he said.

FILE - Marianna Vishegirskaya stands in front of a bomb-damaged maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

FILE – Marianna Vishegirskaya stands in front of a bomb-damaged maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov, File)

Thomas-Greenfield spoke of the associated risks for women and children and minority groups during war, describing how a deputy mayor of a city in Ukraine recently told reporters “that some girls are getting haircuts hoping to prevent Russian troops from violating them. “

He noted that the United States is helping to fund projects to protect women and children in and around Ukraine.

The Security Council heard from Kateryna Cherepakha, president of La Strada-Ukraine, a women’s human rights group. She told the council that her group had received reports of rapes being committed against women and girls in towns that were occupied by Russian troops. She said Russian troops have used rape as a weapon of war.

She said that in one case a victim was raped in front of her family. She also pointed out that they will never get a complete picture of the total number of sexual crimes, since many of those who were attacked are dead and will not be able to report the crime perpetrated against them.

It noted that female prisoners of war have been “exposed to torture, including sexual violence (and) stripped naked in front of harassed and shamed groups of men.”

UNICEF’s director of emergency programs, Manuel Fontaine, told the Advice that during his thirty-one years of work in the humanitarian field that he has had, “rarely has so much damage been seen in such a short time”.

Fontaine said that of the estimated 3.2 million kids who said they stayed home, nearly half were likely at risk of not having enough food. He also pointed out that attacks on the water system and power cuts have caused approximately 1.4 million people to have no access to water and another 4.6 million to have limited access to water.

Ukrainian orphans are seen during a stopover in Warsaw while en route to the UK, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, March 21, 2022. A UK-based group, Dnipro Kids, is helping the nearly 50 children to take refuge in the UK until Russia's war against Ukraine is over.  They were supposed to fly on Monday, but got stuck in Warsaw due to a paperwork problem.

Ukrainian orphans are seen during a stopover in Warsaw while en route to the UK, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, March 21, 2022. A UK-based group, Dnipro Kids, is helping the nearly 50 children to take refuge in the UK until Russia’s war against Ukraine is over. They were supposed to fly on Monday, but got stuck in Warsaw due to a paperwork problem.
(AP Photo/Pawel Kuczynski)

He quoted the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCHR) on the rising number of child deaths and injuries: “As of yesterday, OHCHR has verified 142 child deaths and 229 child injuries. We know that these figures are likely to much higher – and many of them were caused by crossfire or the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.”

Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, responded, accusing Western members of the council of continuing to wage an information war against his country.

He complained that evidence had not been presented for all the accusations against his country, and questioned the accusations leveled at Russian soldiers for the massacre of civilians in Bucha, as well as for the bombing of a train station and other places last week where Polyanskiy claimed fabrications had taken place.

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He then claimed that “the staging of the so-called atrocities of the Russian army is being done by British film directors.”

The British representative responded to his Russian colleague for his comments, calling such claims untrue.

Ukrainian servicemen search through the rubble inside the Retroville shopping mall after a Russian attack in northwest kyiv on March 21, 2022. - At least six people were killed in the overnight shelling of a shopping mall in the Ukrainian capital kyiv, said an AFP journalist.  with rescuers combing through the remains of other victims.  The 10-story building was hit by a powerful explosion that pulverized vehicles in its parking lot and left a crater several meters (yards) wide.

Ukrainian servicemen search through the rubble inside the Retroville shopping mall after a Russian attack in northwest kyiv on March 21, 2022. – At least six people were killed in the overnight shelling of a shopping mall in the Ukrainian capital kyiv, said an AFP journalist. with rescuers combing through the remains of other victims. The 10-story building was hit by a powerful explosion that pulverized vehicles in its parking lot and left a crater several meters (yards) wide.
(Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Lord Tariq Ahmad, the British minister for the United Nations, told the council that, “Sadly, once again we hear Russia trying to deviate from the facts, the reality on the ground, to muddy the waters, for what can only be described as quite extraordinary statements, and even lies. However, what is true, what is a fact, is that the Russian attacks against civilians and residential areas have been truly barbaric.”

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The United Nations has so far met a dozen times on Ukraine since the eve of the Russian invasion and has not taken any significant steps to stop Russia’s aggression. Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, has the right to veto and was forced to use it in February when the council demanded that Russia stop its invasion and withdraw its troops immediately.

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