Ukrainian girls cut hair to avoid being raped by Russian invaders, official claims
Horrific stories continue to emerge from areas that have been under weeks of Russian occupation
The deputy mayor of a town has said that Ukrainian girls have been cutting their hair so that they are "less attractive" in order to avoid being raped by Russian soldiers.
In recent days Ukrainian forces have forced Russian occupiers out of areas surrounding Kyiv, revealing some of the atrocities that have been committed by Putin's soldiers.
One of these areas was Ivankiv, a suburb of the capital, which was occupied by invading forces for 35 days.
Maryna Beschastna, Ivankiv's deputy mayor, told ITV News about the horror that the town's girls had suffered during this time.
“Two sisters were raped — girls of 15 and 16. Children,” she said, wiping away tears.
“Women were pulled by their hair out of their basements so that soldiers could abuse them.
“Girls started cutting their hair short to be less attractive, so no one looks at them anymore.”
Warning: video contains graphic content
One mother told the broadcaster how her 12-year-old son had been killed after being struck by shrapnel.
Elena Skoropad said that she and her husband took their son, Artem, to hospital, but that he tragically succumbed to his wounds.
“On the way here in the car Artem was shouting all the way, ‘Mommy, Sasha, I love you,’” she told ITV.
“These were his words, then he kept saying his legs were hurting, his back was hurting. When we brought him [to the hospital] he was still alive … but then the injuries were incompatible with life."
There have been numerous reports of atrocities and war crimes carried out by Russian soldiers during their occupation of parts of Ukraine.
Russian soldiers have been accused of using rape as a "weapon of war," and footage from recently liberated areas shows civilians who were shot with their hands behind their back, suggesting mass civilian executions.
— Jeremy Bowen (@BowenBBC) April 3, 2022
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has labelled Russia's invasion of the country as "genocide."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised funding and support to the International Criminal Court at The Hague to compile evidence for a war crimes tribunal, saying: “We will not rest until justice is served."
On Thursday, Russia was suspended from United Nations' Human Rights Council.
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