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Russia, Waging a War of Sexual Violence on Ukrainian Male Victims – Male Survivors


Shapovalenko experienced sexual violence after three armed, masked officers arrested him from Russia’s (FSB).

His house was raided on August 25, 2022, a day after Ukraine’s Independence by these officers looking for incriminating evidence.

Unfortunately, they discovered a message on his phone that described the Russian soldiers as “Orcs”.

This word is often considered offensive as it represents the evil forces in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth books.

This word is popular among the Ukrainians as they use it to refer to the Russian soldiers.

However, this word was enough for them to tie him up, blindfold and stuff him into an unmarked car.

According to Shapovalenco, he was repeatedly electrocuted in his genital area and was also threatened with being raped with a glass bottle.

He was even made to believe he could be sterilized. They would sometimes open the door and say “We’re going to take out our batons and we’re going to rape everyone here”.

While the 39-year-old farmer was speaking to CNN, he added that they seemed to have a thing for genitalia.

This experience of sexual violence recounted by Shapovalenco is a common experience among Ukrainians, civilians, and soldiers alike.

Some of them have been prisoners since Russia’s full-scale invasion for over two years now.

Human Rights Monitors Report the Rampant Use of Sexual Violence

According to human rights monitors, they have long reported the issue of the rampant use of sexual violence by Russian forces.

The Russian police and security forces use this practice on prisoners and detainees in Russia.

However, they seem to be exporting the practice to Ukraine.

Only a few men have been able to speak publicly about their experiences probably due to fear of stigma.

However, despite the growing proportion of cases, the crimes often go unreported and the security forces usually go free.

A report from UN rights officials after interviewing 60 male Ukrainian prisoners of war after their release said it all.

The report showed that 39 of these men were victimized sexually while in detention under Russian forces.

Furthermore, four male survivors who CNN interviewed described that they were subjected to forced nudity.

They also claimed they faced rape threats, and genital electrocution with wires from Soviet-era military field telephones known as “Tapik”.

CNN has asked Russia’s Ministry of Defense, Interior Ministry, FSB, National Guard, and Military Intelligence agency for their comments.

However, CNN has not received any response from any of them regarding these allegations in their detention facilities.

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