The first lady of Ukraine, Olensa Zelenska, attends the international conference on the prevention of sexual violence in London
Russian soldiers must be held accountable for raping Ukrainian women and committing other acts of sexual violence during Russia’s war in Ukraine, the country’s first lady Olensa Zelenska said Monday at an international conference on preventing sexual violence in conflicts.
Zelenska told the London summit that sexual violence was being perpetrated “systematically and openly” as the war in Ukraine drags on. Phone recordings have shown Russian soldiers openly discussing the rape with their relatives at home, Zelenska said.
“Sexual violence is the most cruel and animalistic way to demonstrate one’s dominance. And for victims of this type of violence, it is difficult to testify in wartime because no one feels safe,” he said.
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“This is another instrument that they are using as a weapon. This is another weapon in their arsenal in this war and conflict. That is why they are using it systematically and openly,” he added.
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Zelenska then visited Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official residence at 10 Downing Street. She was received by Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, and the two women decorated the Christmas tree in front of the residence in front of the assembled photographers.
Zelenska is expected to address British lawmakers on Tuesday as part of her visit to the UK.
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Sunak visited the Ukrainian capital Kyiv earlier this month, where he offered the UK’s continued support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia.