The First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska told a conference in London on Monday that “violence and sexual crimes” were part of the Russian “arsenal” to “humiliate Ukrainians”, calling for a “comprehensive response” from world leaders.
Since the Russian invasion on February 24, “the occupiers' “opportunities have expanded to humiliate Ukrainians and unfortunately, violence violence and sexual crimes are part of their arsenal,” Ms. Zelenska said.
Russia uses sexual violence “systematically and openly,” she stressed.
“It is for this reason that it is extremely important that it be recognized as a war crime in order to prosecute all the aggressors,” she said, pressing for a “comprehensive response” at a conference organized in London against sexual violence in conflict.
“Really, I hope there will be a response from all over the world for everything that is happening in Ukraine at the moment,” she said. pleaded.
The “Initiative to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict” is being hosted by the British government on Monday and Tuesday in London with representatives from around the world.
On Friday, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly , visiting Kyiv, announced new aid and “crucial support for survivors of sexual violence perpetrated by the Russian army”.
For Olena Zelenska, sexual violence is “the most cruel way , the most animal to prove a domination”.
“Everyone knows that there are a large number of rapes” committed by the army in Ukraine, but according to Ms. Zelenska, the victims speak even less than usual because of the war, for fear that their attackers will come back and do it again.
“At the moment, the prosecutor's office is investigating on more than 100″ cases of alleged sexual crimes, said the First Lady, recalling that the first case which gave rise to prosecution was that of a woman raped by soldiers who had just killed her husband.
The government has launched é a psychological support cell to help victims of war, said Ms. Zelenska.