Women who were raped by Russian soldiers yearn for justice.

Day-after-day, Viktoriya has to stroll previous the home the place she was raped by a Russian soldier the identical age as her teenage son.

Russian troops arrived in her two-street village, close to the Kyiv suburb of Borodianka, in early March. Quickly afterward, she mentioned, two of them raped her and a neighbor, killed two males, together with her neighbor’s husband, and destroyed a number of properties.

“If you don’t give it some thought all, you possibly can stay,” Viktoriya mentioned in an interview within the village on a current wet day. “However it’s actually not forgotten.”

She is cooperating with prosecutors as a result of she mentioned she desires the perpetrators to really feel the “lifelong ache” they left her with. “I would like them to be punished,” she mentioned.

Whether or not they ever will likely be is unsure and should take years to find out. Rapes had been among the many many atrocities Russian troops inflicted on Ukrainian civilians throughout weeks of occupation within the Kyiv suburbs and elsewhere. However the challenges of prosecuting the assaults are daunting: Proof is restricted, and the victims are traumatized and generally reluctant to testify about their assault, in the event that they even report it in any respect. The accused troopers have largely disappeared.

Ukrainian prosecutors say they’re investigating hundreds of struggle crimes, together with execution-style killings and the indiscriminate bombing of civilians. Amongst them, “dozens” contain rapes, mentioned Kateryna Duchenko, who oversees rape instances on the workplace of Ukraine’s normal prosecutor — a low proportion that represents solely a fraction of the struggling.

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