Ukraine to Begin First Trial of Russian Soldier Charged With Rape

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Ukraine will hold a preliminary hearing for the first Russian soldier accused of raping a Ukrainian girl during Moscow’s invasion. This is just one of many such cases.

Mikhail Romanov (32), will be tried absentia on Thursday. He is accused of breaking into a home in March in the Brovarsky area outside Kyiv and murdering a man, repeatedly raping the man’s wife, and threatening her and her children’s lives.

Romanov’s representative is not yet known and the trial will take place behind closed doors. Romanov was not available for comment, and his partner did not respond to questions.

Ukraine claims it is investigating thousands of war crimes allegations made during the Russian invasion. It will celebrate its fourth month of operation on Friday.

Reporters and prosecutors in Ukraine documented Russian crimes against Ukrainian civilians, including sexual assault, murder, and looting. Reuters was informed earlier by a prosecutor who is investigating cases involving sexual violence that there were up to 50 criminal charges involving sexual assault or rape.

Pramila Patten, a UN senior official, visited the Ukrainian capital earlier in the month. She said that the rape cases under investigation were “only the tip of the Iceberg”. She described sexual violence as the “most hidden crime” against Ukrainians during the war, and encouraged survivors to come forward.

Romanov has a large bear tattoo on the chest that is not well documented. He was part of the unsuccessful offensive on Kyiv that Russia launched against Ukraine’s 239th regiment, 90th Guards Tank.

Iryna Venediktova was the chief prosecutor of Ukraine when it announced that it would launch an investigation into Romanov. We don’t know, but we want him to be tried in absentia.

A Kyiv court sentenced Vadim Schishimarin, a Russian soldier aged 21 who was captured in Ukraine to life imprisonment for the murder of a Ukrainian civilian.

Dmitry Peskov (Kremlin spokesperson) commented on the Shishimarin trial and said Russia had “no options to defend his interests there” due to a lack of diplomatic representations in Ukraine.