A Russian wife gave her soldier husband permission to rape Ukrainian women during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian security services said, according to Radio Free Europe/RadioLiberty last week.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) claimed that the couple discussed the possibility of raping Ukrainian women during a phone call that was intercepted by Ukrainian officials in early April.
During an excerpt of the call that was released by the SSU, the woman tells her husband to rape Ukrainian women.
“You go there, rape Ukrainian women, and don’t tell me anything. Understood?” the woman says with a laugh, according to a translation of the audio posted on Youtube.
“Rape and tell you nothing?” the Russian soldier asks.
“Yes, so I don’t know anything. And what?” the woman replies, laughing again.
The Russian soldier clarifies once more that his wife is giving him permission to rape Ukrainian women. “I can, yes?” he questions.
“Yes, I allow. Just use contraception,” the soldier’s wife responds.
An investigation conducted by Radio Free Europe/RadioLiberty found that Roman Bykovsky, 27, and his wife, Olga Bykovskaya, were behind the phone call.
When reporters contacted Olga Bykovskaya, she said her husband was receiving treatment for wounds in a Crimean hospital. She refused to answer any other questions, the outlet said.
The investigation follows a report by Human Right Watch of several documented cases involving Russian troops committing war crimes in Ukraine, including at least one repeated rape of a Ukrainian woman.
“The cases we documented amount to unspeakable, deliberate cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Rape, murder, and other violent acts against people in the Russian forces’ custody should be investigated as war crimes.”
According to Human Rights Watch, Russian soldiers marched into Malaya Rohan, a village in the Kharkiv region, on March 13. Around midnight, an armed soldier entered a school where mostly women and girls were sheltering.
The soldier ordered all of the Ukrainians to line up and approached a woman who was holding her young daughter. The Russian soldier ordered her to give him the girl, but she refused. He then ordered everyone in the room to kneel and left. Roughly two hours later, the soldier returned and told the woman to follow him to the second floor where he demanded she undress.
“He told me to give him [oral sex]. The whole time he held the gun near my temple or put it into my face. Twice he shot at the ceiling and said it was to give me more ‘motivation,’” the woman said, adding that he then raped her for the first time.
The woman said she was very cold and asked if she could put on her clothes. The soldier said she could put on her shirt, but not her pants or underwear.
“While I was putting on my clothes, the soldier told me that he was Russian, that his name was [name withheld] and that he was 20,” she said. “He said that I reminded him of a girl he went to school with.”