Russian soldiers patrol a street in Mariupol on April 12, 2022, as Moscow intensifies a campaign to take the strategic Ukrainian port city
Russian soldiers patrol a street in Mariupol on April 12, 2022. AFP / Alexander NEMENOV


  • A Russian colonel and his two subordinates were suspects in raping a young girl
  • Russian soldiers went to the victim's home twice before taking her to another house
  • U.N. documented 133 cases of sexual violence during the Ukraine war

Three Russian soldiers were accused of raping a young Ukrainian girl during the Russian occupation of Ukraine's Kharkiv region last year.

The rape suspects were already identified, according to a Facebook post of the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office.

One of the Russian suspects is a 43-year-old colonel, commander of the 99th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Motorised Rifle Division of the 20th Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces.

The other two soldiers were his subordinates: a 20-year-old private, who served as a driver, and a 24-year-old junior sergeant, the commander of a command and control vehicle unit.

According to the Security Service of Ukraine, the perpetrators were already served with notices of suspicion under Art 28.2 and Art 438.1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, accusing them of committing a war crime.

Based on the investigation by the Ukrainian authorities, the Russian soldiers entered the house where their female victim and her family lived.

The suspects allegedly threatened the Ukrainian family with guns and started shooting at the farm premises. They had also confiscated the family's communication devices to check if they were civilians.

When evening came, the Russian soldiers returned to the house, forced the young girl to enter their armored personnel carrier and took her to another house.

"They hooded the girl's eyes so she wouldn't understand where they were taking her and didn't memorize the route," according to the Kharkiv prosecutors.

When they arrived at the house where the Russian commander was, other soldiers had begun lining up to rape the girl.

"The Russian commander told his subordinates that he would do it first," the Kharkiv prosecutor's office said.

The victim told Ukrainian law enforcement agencies about her ordeal after their Kharkiv settlement was liberated from the Russian forces.

The girl sustained multiple injuries due to sexual violence, according to the findings of a forensic medical examination.

In October last year, a U.N.-backed Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine released a report about the documented patterns of rape and other sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers against Ukrainians.

According to the report, victims ranged from four to over 80 years old, and Russian perpetrators usually sexually assaulted their victims in their houses or took them to unoccupied buildings.

One of the most disturbing examples in the U.N. report was a four-year-old Ukrainian girl forced to perform oral sex on a Russian soldier in March 2022.

According to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, they had documented 133 cases of sexual violence in Ukraine between February 2022 and January 31, 2023.

Of those, 109 cases were attributed to Russian soldiers.

Russian soldiers in Mariupol
Two Russian soldiers patrol in the Mariupol drama theatre, bombed last March 16, in Mariupol on April 12, 2022 ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images