There has been fresh claims of horrific war crimes being committed by Russian troops as the Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said reports have emerged of “women being raped” and there has been an escalation of bombings.
Dimitry Kuleba has made fresh appeals for more support from the West as civilian targets have increased with one village being wiped off the map.
Russian soldiers in occupied territories are raping women and Kuleba has backed calls for the creation of a “special criminal tribunal” to investigate the horrific actions of Vladimir Putin.
Kuleba said: “When bombs fall on your cities, when soldiers rape women in the occupied cities – and we have numerous cases unfortunately of Russian soldiers raping Ukrainian women in cities, it’s difficult to speak about the efficiency of international law.
“But this is the biggest tool of civilisation available to us to make sure that, in the end, all those who made this war possible will be brought to justice.
“The Russian Federation, as a country who committed an act of aggression, will also be held accountable for its deeds.
“We’re using all tools available, including the ICJ, and the European Court of Human Rights.”
Svetlana Zorina who lives in Kherson said going outside had become “dangerous” because of reported cases of rape.
She told talkRadio, “They started to rape our women so now it’s very dangerous to go outside, especially when it’s dark.
“I heard about a few cased from people I know, unfortunately.”
Freedom from Torture director Steve Crawshaw told The Independent, “We saw torture when Moscow was seeking to impose with dramatic force in Chechnya.
“The pattern of torture became absolutely notorious. And rape was definitely part of that.
“Again and again in the context of conflict, we see torture used as a form of punishment and violation.
“It is mindless violence with terrible consequences for those who suffer it.
“In the context of war, women are often targeted as a form of brutal dehumanising, with rape, including gang rape, routinely used as a weapon of war.
“Many of the survivors who come to us from Sri Lanka to the Democratic Republic of Congo have suffered terribly in this.”