Ukraine claims one-year-old boy died after being raped by Russian soldiers

·4 min read
Local residents stand next to a  heavily damaged residential house in Mala Rogan, one of the villages east of Kharkiv where Russian reports of brutalities are alleged to have taken place. (Getty)
Local residents stand next to a heavily damaged residential house in Mala Rogan, one of the villages east of Kharkiv where Russian reports of brutalities are alleged to have taken place. (Getty)

A one-year-old boy died from his injuries after being raped by Russian soldiers, Ukraine has claimed.

The boy was among more than 60 reports of rape in two days, which also included two 10-year-old boys from newly-liberated villages in the Kharkiv region, according to the Ukrainian Ombudswoman.

In a tweet on 19 May, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said: "Today, in just one hour, 10 reports of rape by the [Russian] occupiers, including 8 children, were received from newly liberated villages in the Kharkiv region.

"Yesterday - 56 reports. Among the children: two 10-year-old boys and a 1-year-old boy who died of his injuries."

Volunteers move a body of a killed Russian soldier during the exhumation in the village of Malaya Rohan, on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Thursday, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)
More allegations of atrocities have emerged from Russian, including the alleged rape of a one-year-old boy who then died. (AP)

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The report is so far unverified, but more details were shared by Ukrainian journalist Iryna Matviyishyn, who included the one-year-old boy in a harrowing list of alleged attacks by Russian soldiers on children.

She said reports also included allegations that triplet girls, aged nine, had been raped by Russian soldiers in front of their mother, while a two-year-old girl had survived after being raped by two soldiers.

Matviyishyn said the report had been published by Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Lyudmyla Denisova.

She added: "According to Denisova, Russians also raped two men aged 67 and 78. And, reportedly, the Commissioner's Psychological Assistance Line receives calls about such war crimes every day now.

"This is a very small part of territory that was liberated from Russians, compared to those towns, villages and cities that are still under the occupation.

"We can only imagine the number of such atrocities in Kherson, Melitopol, Mariupol, Berdyansk, and others."

The allegations are the latest in a catalogue of claims of horrific violence meted out by Russians in Ukraine that have shocked the international community.

Earlier this week a 21-year-old Russian soldier facing the first war crimes trial since Moscow invaded Ukraine pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed civilian.

Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin could get life in prison for shooting a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window.

Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin sits in the defendant's box at the opening of his trial on charge of War crimes for having killed a civilian, in the Solomyansky district court in Kyiv on May 18, 2022. - The captured soldier is accused of killing a 62-year-old civilian -- allegedly on a bicycle -- near the village of Chupakhivka in the northeastern Ukraine Sumy region on February 28, in the first days of the Russian's offensive. Shishimarin pleaded guilty and is facing possible life imprisonment in Kyiv. (Photo by Oleksandr Khomenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin sits in the defendant's box at the opening of his trial on charge of War crimes for having killed a civilian. (Getty)

The news of continued atrocities come after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned that even if technology, intelligence and leadership had failed in Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, he still had one option “in his back pocket” – “brutality”.

Wallace told the Defence of Europe conference at King’s College London: "If you win your war by killing, murdering, raping, bombing civilian territories, breaching all human rights, all Geneva Conventions, corruption, and that becomes the battle-winning component, the message that sends around the world to other adversaries around the world is incredibly dangerous.

"That you don’t need to have all the best kit or the best training or appropriate rule of law, you just need to be able to be more brutal than the other person and more prepared to destroy everything in your path."

He added: "That’s why it matters to the international community, and should matter, that if Putin is successful in Ukraine, then watch out."