Russian troops ‘tortured and raped woman before burning Swastika onto her corpse’, Ukrainian MP claims

‘I’m speechless. My mind is paralysed with anger and fear and hatred,’ says MP Lesia Vasylenko

Holly Bancroft
Tuesday 05 April 2022 17:21 BST
Zelensky calls Russian troops 'murderers and rapists' as he condemns 'war crimes' near Kyiv
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A woman was “raped and killed” by Russian forces before they allegedly burned a swatsika onto her dead body, a Ukrainian MP has claimed.

Lesia Vasylenko, a politician for the Holos party, shared a graffic image on Twitter of what she claimed was the “tortured body of a raped and killed woman”. The photo appeared to show a woman’s torso with a swatsika burned and scratched onto it.

Ms Vasylenko wrote: “I’m speechless. My mind is paralysed with anger and fear and hatred”.

Pro-Russia media RT, had previously claimed that the body of the woman was found by “pro-Russian forces at a Ukrainian military compound”. The Russia Investigative Committee claimed that Ukrainian nationalists from the Azov Battalion tortured the woman in the city of Mariupol.

They alleged that she had been found in the basement of one of the city’s schools.

The Independent has not been able to verify either claims.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Vadym Prystaiko and Ukrainian Member of Parliament Lesia Vasylenko leave Number 10 Downing Street (REUTERS)

Mounting evidence over the past few days has documented the brutal treatment of civilians by Russian forces in the towns and cities around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Ukrainian officials have said that they are looking into allegations of sexual violence against women, including claims that soldiers killed the husband of a woman before two Russians repeatedly raped her.

Residents sit by a makeshift stove next to their apartment building in Bucha, Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has accused Russian forces of committing a "deliberate massacre" as they occupied and eventually retreated from Bucha (Getty Images)

Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said that the alleged crime took place in Brovary, one of the capital’s eastern suburbs. She added that the victim’s child was present when the incident happened.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of trying to “distort the facts” about alleged atrocities in previous occupied cities, such as Bucha, and claimed that the invaders were “already launching a false campaign to conceal their guilt in” committing “war crimes”.

Dozens of bodies have been found in the days since Ukrainian forces regained control of Bucha (Getty Images)

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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