‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


DAILY COURIER – Russian soldiers must be held accountable for raping Ukrainian women and committing other acts of sexual violence during Russia’s war in Ukraine, its first lady, Olena Zelenska, says at an international conference on preventing sexual violence in conflicts.


Zelenska told the London meeting that sexual violence was being perpetrated “systematically and openly” as the war in Ukraine drags on. Phone recordings have shown Russian soldiers openly discussing rape with their relatives at home, Zelenska said.


“Sexual violence is the most cruel, most animalistic way to prove mastership over someone,” she said. “And for victims of this kind of violence, it is difficult to testify in wartimes because nobody feels safe.”


“This is another weapon in their arsenal in this war and conflict,” she said. “That’s why they’re using this systematically and openly.”