The European Union (EU) received a list of 150 names of victims of sexual violence, among Ukrainian women and children, and the removal of these people for treatment in European bloc countries is being evaluated.
Brussels, Belgium | According to Remi Duflot, head of the EU delegation in Ukraine, a specific team was created to deal with war crimes, which includes cases of sexual abuse, rape and sexual violence in a general way.
“We have made available to Ukraine the civil protection mechanism, which has a window for evacuating medical cases, in the case of evacuating women and children who have been affected by these horrors, by these atrocities, and who want to receive treatment outside the country,” explained in a remote interview.
The interview with Remi Duflot took place in the context of a visit by journalists to Moldova, a country that borders Ukraine, at the invitation of the European Commission, to see on the spot the various projects of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO, in acronym in English).
According to the head of the EU delegation in Ukraine, currently in Kiev, there is already “a long list of cases (of sexual violence) that are currently being analyzed by a local non-governmental organization in coordination with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. “.
“Once we have this list of people who want to have treatment in the European Union, we will remove them as quickly as possible, in the best possible conditions, so that they have the treatment they need, not only psychological, but also medical in the most comprehensive way. possible,” said the representative from the Ukrainian capital.
According to the official, the European authorities received a list with 150 names, including women and children, shortly after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the city of Bucha, in early April, but that does not mean that all of them want to be withdrawn from the country.
Bucha is a town northwest of Kiev where several dozen bodies were discovered on the streets and in mass graves after the withdrawal of Russian forces and where war crimes are being investigated.
Some bodies had their hands tied behind their backs and showed signs of execution.
There are also reports of sexual violence and rape in Bucha, which is about 30 kilometers from Kiev.
“This is a very sensitive issue and (to be removed from Ukraine to a European country) the victim has to accept treatment, so some of them will prefer to receive treatment in Ukraine, which is perfectly understandable as well,” Remi Duflot pointed out.
He added that he asked the Ukrainian authorities for victims who accept treatment outside the country to be accompanied by a Ukrainian-speaking psychologist, stressing that “psychological support requires a direct and close relationship, which cannot be done through a translator”.
Regarding all victims of sexual violence who choose to be accompanied in Ukraine, Remi Duflot guaranteed that the health system in the country is working in almost the entire territory and that these people will have psychological support and medical treatment.
The official assured that the issue of sexual violence “is a very important matter”, which is being treated “very close to the heart”, stressing that, in addition to women and children, cases of rape against men are also known.
“The horror knows no bounds and it is unthinkable that we do not react to it“, he defended, pointing out that help in these cases also consists of finding the facts and bringing the evidence to justice, a responsibility that has been delegated to the Ukrainian attorney general.
Remi Duflot pointed out that the reality of the territories that are occupied by Russian troops is still unknown, but stressed that taking into account what has been seen in Bucha, Irpin or Hostomel, “nothing good is expected”.
“Unfortunately for the local populations we are expecting many more war crimes as long as Russia cannot hide them,” he pointed out.
He underlined that all EU countries stand together in support of Ukraine – “which is an extraordinary thing” – and left the assurance that they will continue to work to isolate Russia as long as the aggression continues and until the war ends, highlighting the recent fifth sanctions package.
She also assured that they will continue to support Ukraine economically, taking into account the level of destruction in the country, namely on a humanitarian level.
The head of the EU delegation in Ukraine also added that the 27 member states of the bloc “are already reflecting on how to finance reconstruction”, and that process “is already taking shape on the Ukrainian side as well”.
Regarding the impact of the sanctions, Remi Duflot left the guarantee that as long as there is no peace they will be maintained and said he believes they will be “devastating for the Russian economy”.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that has killed nearly 2,000 civilians, according to UN data, which warns that the real number is likely to be much higher.
The war caused more than 11 million people to flee, more than five million of them to neighboring countries.
The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and reinforcing economic and political sanctions on Moscow.
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