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Tuesday, March 14, 2023 – Ukraine has accused two Russian soldiers of sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl and gang raping her mother at gunpoint in front of her father, in new allegations of abuse carried out during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to a report by Reuters, Ukrainian prosecution files revealed a spree of sex crimes Russian soldiers of the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade committed in four homes of Brovary district near the capital Kyiv in March 2022.

During Moscow’s failed push to capture Kyiv after its Feb. 24 invasion, soldiers entered Brovary a few days later, looting and using sexual violence as a deliberate tactic to terrorise the population, the Ukrainian prosecutors said.

“They singled out the women beforehand, coordinated their actions and their roles,” said the prosecutors, whose 2022 documents were based on interviews with witnesses and survivors.

Most of the alleged atrocities took place on March 13, when soldiers “in a state of alcoholic intoxication, broke into the yard of the house where a young family lived,” the prosecutors alleged.

The father was beaten with a metal pot then forced to kneel while his wife was gang raped. One of the soldiers allegedly told the four-year-old girl he “will make her a woman” before she was abused, the documents said.

After the alleged attack on the girl and her parents, the two soldiers entered the house of an elderly couple next door, where they beat them, prosecutors said, also raping a 41-year-old pregnant woman and a 17-year-old girl.

At another location where several families lived, the soldiers forced everyone into the kitchen and gang raped a 15-year-old girl and her mother, prosecutors said.

The Russian government, which says it is fighting Western-backed “neo-Nazis” in Ukraine, has repeatedly denied allegations of atrocities. It has also denied that its military commanders are aware of sexual violence by soldiers.

The soldiers were both snipers, aged 32 and 28, the files said, adding that the former had died while the younger, named as Yevgeniy Chernoknizhniy, returned to Russia.

The two snipers were among six suspects accused in the Brovary assaults, which prosecutors say is one of the most extensive investigations of sexual abuse since the invasion, according to Reuters.

All the victims survived, prosecutors said, and were receiving psychological and medical assistance.

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