Russia’s rapist soldiers must be held to account for their ‘terrible crimes’, says Olena Zelenska

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Ukraine’s First Lady has called for Russia’s rapist soldiers to be held to account at an international tribunal during an emotional interview this morning. 

Speaking days before the first anniversary of the launch of Putin’s invasion, Olena Zelenska told GMB‘s Susanna Reid that the prosecution office in Ukraine has registered ‘150 rape cases, where the actions of Russian occupiers are documented.’

The youngest victim registered is just four years old, while the oldest is 85.

Mrs Zelenska, 45, said: ‘Unfortunately, in reality, this number is much higher, which is why we expect the support from the international community, with specific regard to a military tribunal for all of the war criminals who are committing such terrible crimes in Ukraine.

‘No one expected that this war would be so cruel. Animalistically cruel. War is always terrible but this war is staggeringly cruel.’

Russia’s rapist soldiers must be held to account for their ‘terrible crimes’, says Olena Zelenska

Ukraine’s First Lady has called for Russia’s rapist soldiers to be held to account at an international tribunal during an emotional interview this morning 

Ukraine’s First Lady described the horrors of the war and said: ‘There is a lot of work that needs to be done. 

‘A lot of children are already in need of psychological help and sometimes even treatment – in particular, those who witnessed the execution of their family members, kids who almost lost their lives together with their mum and dad.’

Zelenska said her own family hasn’t been immune from the suffering, adding: ‘My children are also like the other children – when they go to the basements in their school, mine come to the basement with me.’ 

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As well as describing the situation in Ukraine – and her decision to stay in the wartorn country – she also sent a warm message of thanks for the people of Britain, its Government and The Royal Family. 

She revealed that she had received a personal handwritten letter from a British woman and described it as a ‘sincere gesture’ that had reduced her to tears. 

She said: ‘I can honestly answer that I feel my obligation is to be here.

‘I feel thankful that I can be here because to leave Ukraine wouldn’t be easy. It would be emotionally a lot harder to be away from my people when it is such a crucial time in history.

‘Great Britain, from day one demonstrated the most sincere and the most powerful support, and this is truly a great example of leadership. 

‘We feel not only the support of the government and The Royal Family… but also we feel the support of the whole country.

‘The safety of our people is one of the most important matters for us and you are giving us this. You’re one of the first countries who give us the necessary weapons that we are constantly asking for, which is why we are truly grateful.’ 

Her call for sex attackers to be brought to justice by an international military tribunal comes after a UN report revealed Russian soldiers gang-raped a 22-year-old Ukrainian mother, sexually abused her husband and made the couple have sex in front of them before raping their four-year-old daughter.

The report also detailed how Russian soldiers conducted summary executions – executions without trial or due process – in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and the Summy regions, with the youngest victim being a 14-year-old boy.

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In the report, the members of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said they had also documented patterns of torture, ill-treatment and unlawful confinement committed in areas occupied by Russian armed forces – all of which amount to war crimes.

The report detailed how Russian soldiers raped women and girls in their homes or took them and raped them in unoccupied dwellings – leading some to consider committing suicide.

Good Morning Britain's Susanna Reid sat down with Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska days before the first anniversary of the launch of Putin’s invasion

Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid sat down with Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska days before the first anniversary of the launch of Putin’s invasion

Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid sat down with Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska this morning in an emotional interview days before the first anniversary of the launch of Putin’s invasion

Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid sat down with Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska this morning in an emotional interview days before the first anniversary of the launch of Putin’s invasion

Olena Zelenska said: 'I feel thankful that I can be here because to leave Ukraine wouldn’t be easy. It would be emotionally a lot harder to be away from my people when it is such a crucial time in history'

Olena Zelenska said: ‘I feel thankful that I can be here because to leave Ukraine wouldn’t be easy. It would be emotionally a lot harder to be away from my people when it is such a crucial time in history’

UN report has revealed Russian soldiers gang-raped a 22-year-old Ukrainian mother, sexually abused her husband and made the couple have sex in front of them before raping their four-year-old daughter

UN report has revealed Russian soldiers gang-raped a 22-year-old Ukrainian mother, sexually abused her husband and made the couple have sex in front of them before raping their four-year-old daughter

In March last year, two Russian soldiers burst into a young family’s home in the Kyiv region and raped a 22-year-old woman several times before sexually abusing her husband.

The two soldiers then forced the traumatised couple to have sex in front of them.

One of the soldiers then forced the couple’s four-year-old daughter to perform oral sex on him.

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‘In most cases, these acts of rape also amount to torture and cruel or inhumane treatment for the victims and for relatives who were forced to watch,’ the report says.

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