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85 Ukrainians, including two children, became victims of wartime sexual violence last year — UN report

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine states that it has data on 52 men, 31 women, and two minors who suffered from war-related sexual violence in 2023. These crimes were committed against both civilians and prisoners of war.

These figures are contained in a new report presented by Pramila Patten, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, at the UN Security Council’s annual open debate.

In particular, the report states that in most of the documented cases where the victims were adult men, sexual violence was used as a method of torture in Russian captivity. In addition to rape itself, it includes threats of rape, electric shocks and mutilation of genitals and breasts, threats of castration, forced undress and nudity. Six women were documented to have been raped in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia.

For comparison, in 2022, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recorded 125 cases of sexual violence. The victims included 80 men, 42 women, and three girls. Experts documented cases of rape, including gang rape, against 10 women, one girl and one man.

Also, the report presented at the UN Security Council noted that since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the UN has registered more than a thousand attacks on medical facilities, which has further complicated access to care for rape victims. In December 2023, the MIHR and its partners prepared a report on the fact that Russian troops are deliberately using the healthcare system to control the civilian population in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

In his report, the UN Secretary-General once again called on the Russian Federation to investigate documented cases of sexual violence by the Russian military and to ensure access to the occupied territories for humanitarian and monitoring missions.

We remind you that last year, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Violations in Ukraine stated that the evidence it had collected showed that the Russian authorities were responsible for sexual and gender-based violence (rape, sexual slavery against women, men and girls).

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