Lyubov, a resident of Kherson, told the House of Representatives, the lower house of the US Congress, how the Russian soldiers treated her. A 16-year-old Roman deported from Ukraine also spoke before the Chamber.
The story of Lyubov, a 57-year-old resident of Kherson, was one of the most horrific testimonies of Russian war crimes members of the House of Representatives’ international affairs committee heard on Wednesday. The names of the victims, at their request, were not released.
Also, 16-year-old Roman, who was forcibly transported to Russia and placed with a family who tried to indoctrinate him. Attorney General Ukraine Andriy Kostin stated that his office had recorded about 80,000 incidents potentially constituting war crimes. He added that so far 31 Russians have been convicted in Ukrainian courts on such charges.
“It was their evidence against me”
Lyubov lived for almost a year in Kherson, which was occupied by the Russians. She said that in January this year, Russian soldiers broke into her home, claiming to be looking for weapons, and confiscated “a map of Ukraine, a flag of Ukraine, souvenir magnets from Ukraine and a pin with a blue and blue ribbon symbolizing the victims of World War II.” “It was their evidence against me,” the woman said.
The Russians then took her to a “torture room” where they held her for five days – they beat her, forced her to undress, cut her body with a knife. “They also took me outside to the field and beat me again, put a gun close to my head and shot me as if they were murdering me. They also forced me to dig my own grave, ”the resident of Kherson described. She added that she saw other tortured people who were led outside “with black plastic bags over their heads”.
Lyubov said that eventually the Russians released her, but they threatened to “come back for her.” Her house was ransacked and the soldiers also stole a medal that belonged to her father. She managed to escape Kherson and reach the USA, where her daughter lives, but she hopes to return to Ukraine someday.
Sent “on holiday”
Roman, 16, an orphan, said he was told by the Russian occupation authorities that he was being sent to Russia “on vacation”. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the Russians informed him that from now on he would have a new family.
The pleas of a boy who wanted his brother or sister to become his were ignored legal guardians Roman’s representative said. Roman was then issued a new birth certificate by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and sent to Russia.
When he got there, he and other children from Ukraine were greeted by Maria Lwowa-Bielova – a Russian ombudsman for children’s rights who, together with Putin, is being prosecuted by International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes. Lviv-Bielova told underage Ukrainians that they would be adopted in Russia, to which the children protested.
– Finally, we managed to find a new family for Roman. They tried to change his way of thinking. They forced him to watch propaganda programs on TV, said the representative of the 16-year-old. His contacts with peers were limited, his movements were tracked via an app on his phone and he was forced to say that he “likes his new family and his new life”.
Calls for an increase in arms supplies to Ukraine
The hearing in the House of Representatives comes at a time when some US lawmakers are calling for increased support for Ukraine and are putting pressure on the administration Joe Bidento step up arms shipments to Kiev, commented on CNN.
This is more than war crimes. These are more than crimes against humanity. What we are witnessing in Ukraine is genocide, said commission chairman Michael McCaul in his opening speech.
The free world cannot sit back and let this happen. It’s high time this administration, along with our allies, gave Ukraine the weapons it needs to win,” McCaul added, referring to long-range missile systems like the ATACMS.
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