A woman was “raped and killed” by Russian forces before they burned a swastika on her body, a Ukrainian lawmaker has claimed.
Lesia Vasylenko, a Holos party politician, shared a graphic image on Twitter of what she claimed was the “tortured body of a raped and killed woman”. The photo appeared to show a woman’s torso with a burnt and scratched swastika on it.
Ms Vasylenko wrote: “I am speechless. My mind is paralyzed with anger, fear and hatred”.
Pro-Russian outlet RT previously claimed that the woman’s body had been found by “pro-Russian forces at a Ukrainian military compound”. The Russian Investigative Committee claimed that Ukrainian nationalists from the Azov Battalion tortured the woman in the city of Mariupol.
They alleged that she was found in the basement of one of the town’s schools.
The Independent was unable to verify either claim.
Mounting evidence over the past few days has documented the brutal treatment of civilians by Russian forces in towns and villages around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Ukrainian officials said they were looking into allegations of sexual violence against women, including allegations that soldiers killed a woman’s husband before two Russians repeatedly raped her.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said the alleged crime took place in Brovary, one of the eastern suburbs of the capital. She added that the victim’s child was present when the incident occurred.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of trying to ‘distort the facts’ about alleged atrocities in previously occupied towns, such as Bucha, and claimed the invaders were ‘already unleashing a false campaign to cover up their guilt’ by committing “war crimes”.
The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we launched our first campaign to welcome refugees during the war in Syria in 2015. Today, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition to Following the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, we are asking the government to go further and faster to ensure the delivery of aid. To learn more about our Welcome to Refugees campaign, Click here. To sign the petition Click here. If you would like to donate, please Click here for our GoFundMe page.