Russian troops rape ‘numerous’ women in Ukraine, foreign minister says

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Vladimir Putin’s forces of committing numerous rapes in Ukrainian cities – as Gordon Brown called for Putin to be brought before a war crimes tribunal

A damaged building today in Chernihiv, Ukraine
A damaged building today in Chernihiv, Ukraine

Russian troops are raping women while rampaging across Ukraine, the country’s foreign minister claimed today.

Dmytro Kuleba accused Vladimir Putin’s forces of committing sexual assaults while invading cities.

He said there were “numerous” cases of targeted attacks on women.

Speaking to Chatham House’s foreign affairs think tank via a video link, he said: “When bombs fall on your cities, when soldiers rape women in the occupied cities – and we unfortunately have numerous cases of Russian soldiers raping women in Ukrainian cities – it is of course difficult to talk about the effectiveness of international law.

“But this is the only tool civilization has at our disposal to ensure that in the end everyone who made this war possible is brought to justice, and the Russian Federation as a country that committed an act of aggression , will be held accountable for his actions.”

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie teamed up with then-Secretary of State William Hague in 2014 to raise awareness of how rape was used as a weapon of war.

There are calls for Vladimir Putin to be brought before a war crimes tribunal


(Getty Images)

The couple hosted a global summit on ending sexual violence in conflict in London, which was attended by officials from more than 100 countries.

Mr Hague said at the time: “This is a subject the world has not wanted to talk about for a long time.

“We’ve taken a huge step in the last two years to get the world talking about a taboo subject, and now we must follow that with action.”

Gordon Brown, speaking at the same event, urged Vladimir Putin to face a Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunal.

The former prime minister said the Russian prime minister should be held accountable for atrocities committed when his forces invaded Ukraine.

Writing exclusively for the Mirror, he wrote: “I call on all European countries that believe that aggression must never be paid back to support the creation of this tribunal so that the embattled people of Ukraine can see justice done and justice shown to them.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said there had been numerous reports of rapes


Lev Radin/Pacific Press/REX/Shutterstock)

The former Labor leader also addressed the Chatham House think tank panel, where he insisted putting Putin in the dock was “a realistic option”.

He added: “This act of aggression by Russia, which was strongly deplored by the UN General Assembly this week, must not go uninvestigated, prosecuted and punished.

“But there is a serious loophole in international law. Since Russia does not belong to the statute of the International Criminal Court, this aggression crime cannot be investigated by the public prosecutor from today’s perspective.”

Moscow withdrew from the ICC in 2016.

Russia can be charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide despite not being a signatory.

However, the crime of aggression cannot be prosecuted against persons from a non-ICC country unless a referral is made by the UN Security Council.

Gordon Brown called for a Nuremberg tribunal



That cannot happen because Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Council and has a veto.

Even if Putin were indicted, he would have to be arrested by a state that has joined the ICC – so if he never left Russia, it would be highly unlikely that he would be arrested.

But Mr Brown said trying Putin was “a realistic option”.

Philippe Sands, International Human Rights QC, told Chatham House: “When Charles de Gaulle and others met in London in January 1942, it must have been inconceivable that Nazi leaders like Hermon Goerring and others would ever find themselves in the dock, and that’s what happened three years later.”

1 Blocking access of Russian banks to the West, with a plan to completely freeze the assets of all Russian banks.

2 sanctions against Russian central banks and financial institutions, already in effect.

3 Preventing Russian companies and the Russian state from raising debt in the UK, already in force.

4 Asset freezes against individual oligarchs, 15 so far, including Putin and Lavrov, and more to come.

5 Focus on key strategic sectors including defence, with more services and energy planned.

6 Blocking access to SWIFT, with the UK still pushing for a full SWIFT ban on all Russian banks.

7 Ban on Russian planes and ships landing in the UK, with new legislation next week to put this on a longer-term basis.

8 Ban on the export of dual-use items to Russia, such as B. Electronics that could be used in military computers or weapons.

9 Set a limit of £50,000 on deposits by wealthy Russians in UK bank accounts.

10 Extension of the above sanctions to Belarus due to its role in supporting the Russian invasion.

11 Extension of the overall trade embargo between the UK and Crimea to the “People’s Republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk. But still no date due to concerns about protecting Ukrainians who are still there.

12 sanctions against all members of the Russian Parliament and Russian National Security who voted for the invasion. Still ongoing, although the EU is already acting.

For further information, click here.

He added: “Who knows? But it’s not impossible.”

Speaking to the think tank via video link from a vehicle in Kyiv, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said while Ukraine is “fighting an enemy that is much stronger than us, we have international law on our side”.

Supporting the tribunal, he added: “This is the only tool of civilization that we have at our disposal to ensure that in the end everyone who made this war possible is brought to justice, and the Russian Federation, as one country.” who committed an act of aggression will be held accountable for their actions.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said Putin risked ending up in prison.

Asked if he saw the end of the conflict with the Russian president being “imprisoned for war crimes,” he said, “I think it’s a very real risk that he has to think about now.

“Beyond his personal situation, any commander operating in Ukraine or even Moscow, when confronted with illegal orders, whether to attack civilians or other illegal or unlawful locations, now knows that the ICC is investigating and the Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan is going to Ukraine, I think.

“They must know now that if they follow these illegal, unlawful orders, they face the very real risk of ending up in a court dock and ultimately in prison.”

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