A Ukrainian MP has claimed that the Russian army raped, tortured and killed a woman during their invasion of the country.
On Sunday, MK Lesia Vasylenko of the Holos party made the claims by sharing an image on her Twitter page of a woman who had a swastika burned into her body.
“The tortured body of a raped and killed woman. I am speechless. My mind is paralyzed with anger, fear and hatred. #StopGenocide#StopPutinNow,” she said. tweeted.
Journalist Patrick Lancaster, who covered the Russian invasion, claimed that this woman was found tortured in the basement of a school in Mariupol.
On March 27, he tweeted a video where he walks around the school basement with Russian soldiers.
The soldiers who accompanied him claim that the school served as a military base for the Ukrainian forces and the Azov battalion. Lancaster also shows the body with the swastika burned.
Newsweek was, however, unable to independently verify the claims of Vasylenko or the Russian soldiers.
In the video, a Russian soldier recounts that as they retreated, Ukrainian forces dressed people in civilian clothes, then took their weapons and ammunition and headed towards the town.
“Look how they did. They left all their clothes here, changed the uniform to civilian clothes and went to town with weapons dressed in civilian clothes,” the Russian soldier said, according to the translation of the caption Youtube.
“They searched everything here, all the purses, everything is empty. They took away all the weapons and ammunition,” the soldier continued as they walked through the school.
“Something burned, something remains, something like that. Their warehouse burned down. These are the remains of weapons. Here are hand-held grenade launchers and other types of anti-tank grenade launchers, machine guns. At judging by the uniform found, it was National Guard and Azov.”
When the soldiers and Lancaster reach the body, the soldier says that the Russian soldiers would not burn “fascist crosses” on civilians.
“Civilians, probably those who supported us. Obviously she was stabbed, not by our guys, there are fascist crosses,” he said.
“I don’t know by whom. They were retreating, most likely it’s a civilian. Our guys wouldn’t leave such crosses. Swastika, that’s for sure.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly accused Russian forces of committing war crimes during the invasion of the country.
He held a press conference in the streets of Bucha on Monday and said the Russians executed civilians at close range in the town and also committed other war crimes. The Kremlin has denied these allegations.
“These are war crimes and they will be recognized by the world as genocide,” Zelensky said in a media interview on Monday.
“You are here today and can see what happened. We know that thousands of people have been killed and tortured, with limbs cut off, women raped, children murdered. I think that’s more that… it’s genocide.”
Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Defense for comments.