President of Ukraine

Olena Zelenska and human rights activist Nadia Murad visited Borodyanka

23 May 2023 - 13:29

Olena Zelenska and human rights activist Nadia Murad visited Borodyanka

First Lady Olena Zelenska met with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, who arrived in Ukraine at the invitation of the President's wife. This is the first visit of the Iraqi human rights activist to our country.

The First Lady and Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin told Nadia Murad about the situation with war crimes committed by the Russian occupiers in our country.

In total, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have recorded more than 88,000 war crimes. These include the destruction of civilian and critical infrastructure, cultural heritage sites, shootings of evacuation convoys, deportations, crimes against journalists, murders and torture of civilians, including women and children, and cases of sexual violence by the invaders.

"Since the first days of the war, police officers have been recording reports of sexual violence by the occupiers. As part of specialized mobile groups, police representatives have worked in all the de-occupied settlements," the First Lady emphasized.

During the full-scale military aggression of the Russian Federation, the Office of the Prosecutor General recorded 190 cases of sexual violence. In particular, 136 against women and 54 against men. Among the victims are 13 minors: 12 girls and 1 boy.

The oldest victim of the occupiers' sexual crimes is 82 years old, the youngest is 4 years old.

The highest number of cases of sexual violence was recorded in Kherson region - 67. In Kyiv region, 52 such crimes were committed, 34 in Donetsk region, 18 in Kharkiv region, 7 in Zaporizhzhia region, 4 in Chernihiv region, 3 in Luhansk region, and 5 in Mykolaiv region.

Olena Zelenska noted that an ethical approach to victims is especially important in documenting and investigating, for which the Murad Code is used, among other things.

"Rescuers, police officers, doctors and social workers are actively developing new algorithms of work and interaction, being guided, among other things, by the Murad Code. It provides answers on how to build trust with people who have experienced this deep trauma and support them. For some prosecutors and law enforcement officers, your name has become synonymous with humanity and ethics," the First Lady said, addressing the human rights activist.

The wife of the President of Ukraine and Nadia Murad visited the village of Borodyanka in the Kyiv region, which was under Russian occupation from February 26 to April 1, 2022.

At that time, 162 people died in the Borodyanska community, 48 of them under the rubble of houses. 28 went missing.

There are 1,780 damaged or destroyed private residential buildings in the city, 11 destroyed apartment buildings; 5 premises of pre-school education institutions and 10 general secondary education institutions were destroyed and damaged.

Olena Zelenska and Nadia Murad observed the destruction of high-rise buildings on Tsentralna Street, visited the Buratino preschool education institution, where local residents were hiding from Russian air raids, and the Kazka preschool education institution, where the occupiers had set up their headquarters. The kindergarten has now been reconstructed. The SES staff conducts mine safety training with children from older groups (approximately 20-30 children aged five to six).

Ruslan Kravchenko,Head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, spoke about the comprehensive restoration of Borodyanka, including the implementation of a pilot project of reconstruction under the "build back better" principle, as well as the start of the restoration of residential buildings under the United24 program. The guests got themselves acquainted with the plan for the comprehensive restoration of Tsentralna Street.

"The footage of Borodyanka, obliterated by Russians, has been all over the world... And yet Borodyanka is alive. Our guest Nadia Murad once again emphasized that we must document all Russian crimes. This will be needed for an international tribunal to convict those responsible for aggression against Ukraine. Borodyanka is already recovering. It should also receive justice," the First Lady said.

Reference. Nadia Murad Basee Taha is an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador, winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. She was included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016. She survived slavery, violence, and torture after her home village of Kocho (Iraq) was captured by the ISIS terrorist group. Since her rescue, she has been engaged in human rights activism and has been working with the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) and the UK government's Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) since 2020.

She created the Murad Code, which sets out minimum standards for the safe, effective and ethical collection and use of information from a victim or survivor of systemic sexual violence. It is intended for those involved in documenting, investigating, disseminating, researching, monitoring and other activities related to the collection and use of such information. The Code reflects common core standards that should be applied by all actors in all contexts to promote a victim-centered approach.