Violence against women as a part of Russian war doctrine

A 14-year-old girl from Bucha was raped by five Russian occupiers. She is now pregnant and plans to leave a child whose biological father is an occupier and a rapist. This story was told by psychologist Oleksandra Kvitko who works on a psychological assistance hotline arranged by Ombudswoman Lyudmila Denisova.

As of April 26, the ombudswoman’s hotline had received 103 reports of sexual crimes in Ukraine’s newly liberated territories. The victims include not only women, but also men and young children. The youngest victim, with whom Oleksandra has worked, is 10 years old.

In total, only 12 cases of forced pregnancy among rape victims are known so far, but there are actually more – only a small percentage of victims are ready to tell what happened to them, Ombudswoman Lyudmila Denisova told Radio Svoboda.

Sexual violence has become one of the shameful tools of Russians to try to harm the Ukrainian population. Stories of the rape of women, girls and even children became known after the deoccupation of the invaders’ territories. Cases of rape by the occupiers have already begun to be investigated in four regions of Ukraine. However, many victims do not seek help and do not report crimes to law enforcement.

In Ukraine in Flames #50 we will find out why Russia is using violence against women as a tool of its military machine and how the world can help to stop it now.


  • Oleksandra Matviychuk, human rights defender, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties
  • Tetiana Troshchynska, Editor-in-Chief of Hromadske Radio, presentor
  • Oleksandra Ochman, freelance journalist Oleksandra Kvitko, psychologist.

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