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Sick at heart

April 18, 2022

I have a friend of Ukrainian heritage who has been posting translations about atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Each and every one of these posts breaks my heart. Today’s post describes the appalling discoveries made in Irpin and Bucha after the invaders departed. Her post follows and I have to warn you, reading this will leave you feeling sick at heart.

Broken childhood, broken lives 

“Mom, why did those ‘uncles’ punish me? Didn’t I behave well?” This question was asked by a six-year-old girl, who was raped by two Russian soldiers in front of her mother in Irpin.


Nine-year-old girl was raped by 11 (at least 11 sperm samples were found) soldiers, who then they cut the letter “Z” on her chest and ripped her stomach open. Her parents were killed in front of her.

Mother, father, three daughters.  Russians settled in their house. The father was shot dead the same day. They raped the children in front of the mother, she was raped too. Girls aged five and eight, died from rape and injuries. The mother and 17-year-old daughter survived, but they are in critical condition in hospital.

Mother, father, 11-year-old daughter and their German Shepherd. The father was shot. The dog was cut for four hours in front of the child and mother. During one week, the mother was raped in front of her child.


Mother, father, nine-year-old daughter and five-year-old son. Kadyrovites entered their private house. The father’s hands were tied, he was brought to his knees and shot in front of his wife and children. The next day, the boy’s genitals were cut off, he died of bleeding. The mother and daughter were raped for two weeks.

Mother, father, grandparents and two-year-old girl. They found all dead in the house. Father with his hands tied and shot. The child has a cut throat. Mother with torn genitals and slaughtered.

Fourteen-year-old girl was raped by five Russian occupiers. She’s pregnant now.

Eleven-year-old boy was raped in front of his mother. She was tied to a chair to watch.”

At the end of her post, my friend asked: “So really, what is the UN for?” It is a very good question.

As I was reminded yesterday whilst reading an opinion piece by Elizabeth Renzetti (annoyingly unavailable to share due to the Globe & Mail’s paywall), it is fourteen years since the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1820 which recognised rape as a war crime. 

What is available to share – if you have the stomach for it – is this harrowing report from the BBC.

My friend’s question got me thinking back 32 years to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The UN responded to that. A full scale invasion. 

The difference? Russia and China, established in 1945 as permanent members of the UN Security Council, did not veto military intervention. 

The world needs an organisation that is what the United Nations was intended to be. Tragically, the UN, as it exists is not and can never be that organisation. The veto power of the Perm 5 guarantees that.

And so we impotently weep.

From → Columns

  1. Susan Yates permalink

    It surely must be the fear of nuclear war that stops NATO from going in? I have a friend who can’t figure out why MIA hasn’t taken Putin out from inside…maybe he’s living in a fantasy Bond world. And we complain about the rain…


  2. This is really sickening. Thanks for posting Anne.

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