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Ukraine launches first trial of Russian soldiers accused of rape

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KYIV — Ukraine will hold a preliminary hearing on Thursday in the first trial of a Russian soldier charged with raping a Ukrainian woman during a Russian invasion.

Suspect Michael Romanov, 32, will be in absentia during his detention in Ukraine, killing a civilian in the Kyiv metropolitan area on March 9, and then a man. He has been accused of repeatedly raping his wife. To the court file.

The Russian Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for written comment, and Reuters was unable to contact the soldiers. Moscow has denied allegations of war crimes.

Romanov is a 33-year-old woman at a blank spot in the village of Bodanifka, northeast of Kyiv, after he and another Russian soldier shot dead his husband Olexi. Has been accused of raping.

Then two soldiers left and then returned twice to rape her, court files said. The identity of the second soldier was not established.

It was not immediately clear what kind of legal representative Romanov would be in a closed-door trial.

Prosecutors working on sexual violence cases have been investigated by Reuters for up to 50 such crimes, but the number of cases of sexual violence by Russian soldiers since February 24. Said that it is likely to be quite a lot.

Officials, activists and doctors are afraid that many survivors will file cases with police and prosecutors for fear of retaliation from Russia and stigma from Ukrainian neighbors, or He says he doesn't want it.

A spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office said the prosecutor may publicly comment on the trial after the hearing on Thursday.

Ukraine states that it is investigating thousands of potential war crimes committed during the Russian invasion that began on February 24. By Ukraine as a prisoner of war. (Report by Joanna Plucinska and Max Hunder, edited by Tom Balmforth and Mark Heinrich)