Wife who was recorded ‘ordering her Russian soldier husband to rape Ukrainian women’ as it emerges he was wounded in fighting
A wife who was recorded giving her Russian soldier husband permission to rape Ukrainian women during Vladimir Putin‘s invasion has been pictured, as it emerged the man has been wounded in the fighting.
In the recording, the woman – allegedly Bykovskaya – is heard telling the man that he has her permission to rape Ukrainian women while he is serving in Russia’s invading forces, so long as he does not tell her and uses contraception.
The shocking 30-second clip was released on April 12 as Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian troops of carrying out ‘hundreds of rapes’ including sexual assaults of small children in his country.
The audio clip shared by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) opened with the blue and yellow title: ‘SECURITY SERVICE INTERCEPT: Wives of Russian invaders allow their men to rape Ukrainian women.’
The voice of a woman, believed to be Olga Bykovskaya, is then heard: ‘So yeah, do it over there,’ she says. It then becomes clear what she is agreeing to. ‘Ukrainian women there. Rape them. Yeah.
‘Don’t tell me anything, understand,’ she adds with a shy laugh.
A man’s voice – believed to be that of Roman Bykovsky is then heard. ‘Uh-huh,’ he says. ‘So I should rape and not tell you anything,’ he asks, clarifying that the woman is giving him permission.
‘Yes, so that I wouldn’t know anything,’ the women’s voice says, before they are both heard laughing this time. ‘Why do you ask?’ she adds.
‘Can I really?’ he asks again.
‘Yeah, I allow you,’ she says, with a giggle. ‘Just use protection,’ she adds.
The man replies again: ‘Ok.’
Investigative journalists at Radio Liberty worked with law enforcement in Ukraine to track the phone involved in the call, with one of the numbers being traced to the Kherson region in April.
The investigators then found that the two phone numbers were linked to two accounts on Russia’s VKontakte social network – belonging to 27-year-old Roman Bykovsky and his wife Olga Bykovskaya – both originally from Orel in Russia.
Roman’s account was closed to the public, however the journalists found him pictured in photographs uploaded by one of his friends – Alexei Zabrusov – which showed that they served together in 2016 in the same army division.
From there, the investigators were able to find other friends and family members of Roman, which led them to more pictures of him in military uniform which established that is now part of Russia’s 108th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment – a unit known for its involvement in the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
They also learned that the couple had moved to the Russian occupied Crimean peninsula, approximately around 2018.
Olga’s social media account meanwhile was open (until it was deleted on April 13). On her account, she was shown in pictures with the man identified as Roman Bykovsky. It also showed the pair share a 4-year-old child together.
Radio Liberty tried calling the couple using the numbers that were discovered.
Roman reportedly answered, and denied that he was still in the Kherson region, and once he learned that he was being contacted by reporters also denied he was the man in the audio recording. However, Radio Liberty said his voice was a match.
Olga Bykovska also answered, and confirmed to Radio Liberty that her husband was in Sevastopol being treated for an injury. After revealing that, she quickly cut the phone call off. Her social media account was deleted soon after that.
The 30-second audio clip of the conversation was posted to the telegram channel of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Tuesday.
‘Wives of Russian aggressors call on their husbands to rape Ukrainian women,’ the agency wrote on Telegram, along with the clip.
‘This shocking interception by the SBU reflects the moral values not only of the occupiers but also of their relatives, 80% of whom now support the war in Ukraine,’ the agency claimed in its description of the recording.
Putin’s band of thugs have been linked to a string of horrific atrocities across Ukraine, including the brutal rape and murder of women and children, often in front of their own family members. Moscow has denied the claims.
One Russian soldier has even been arrested after allegedly recording himself abusing a Ukrainian baby.
Speaking to Lithuanian lawmakers on April 12, Zelensky said: ‘In areas freed from the occupiers, the recording and investigation of war crimes committed by Russia continues. New mass graves are found almost daily.
‘Testimonials are being collected. Thousands and thousands of victims. Hundreds of cases of torture. Bodies continue to be found in drains and cellars.
‘Hundreds of cases of rape have been recorded, including those of young girls and very young children. Even of a baby!’
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda responded saying, ‘It’s simply impossible to imagine a greater horror.’
Kateryna Cherepakha, president of La Strada-Ukraine, said her organisation’s emergency hotlines had received calls accusing Russian soldiers of nine cases of rape involving 12 women and girls.
She told the UN: ‘This is just the tip of the iceberg. We know and see – and we want you to hear our voices – that violence and rape is used now as a weapon of war by Russian invaders in Ukraine.’
An 11-year-old boy is among the alleged victims after he was reportedly raped by Russian troops in front of his mother who was tied to a chair and forced to watch.
Ukraine’s Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova said the boy was attacked in Bucha where scores of dead civilians showing signs of torture were found weeks after it was recaptured.
Denisova also claimed that five soldiers in Putin’s army raped a 14-year-old girl who has become pregnant.
She said an estimated 120,000 Ukrainian children were rounded up and kidnapped, with some raped and others smuggled over to Russia.
On April 8, a 16-year-old girl and 78-year-old woman were among those raped, official Oleksandr Vilkul claimed.
Meanwhile, one of Putin’s soldiers has been arrested after footage emerged of him allegedly raping a baby in Ukraine.
Alexei Bychkov, 24, sent the vile footage to a Russian comrade before he was detained on Saturday, it was reported.
The soldier is said to have shared other videos of his abuse of children to other friends and colleagues.
Elsewhere in Bucha, 25 girls and woman aged 14 to 25 were ‘systematically’ raped while being held captive in a basement, it has been claimed.
Nine of the women are now pregnant.
Denisova said: ‘Russian soldiers told them they would rape them to the point where they wouldn’t want sexual contact with any man, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children.’
Meanwhile a 50-year-old woman who lives 45 miles of Kyiv said a Chechen soldier barged into the home she shared with her husband on March 7.
She told the BBC: ‘At gunpoint, he took me to a house nearby. He ordered me: ‘Take your clothes off or I’ll shoot you.’ He kept threatening to kill me if I didn’t do as he said. Then he started raping me.
‘While he was raping me, four more soldiers entered. I thought that I was done for. But they took him away. I never saw him again.’
When she returned home, she found her husband had been shot in the abdomen and he died two days later from his injuries.
She buried her husband in the back garden and the soldiers who interrupted the rape stayed in her house for days, drinking and pointing their gun at her while asking to hand over her husband’s belongings.
The same attacker allegedly raped and killed another woman in the same village, slitting her throat in an evacuated home.
In another chilling case, Russian soldiers entered the home of a family of three, where they killed the husband before repeatedly raping the wife.
They would even leave before returning three times to rape her again, threatening harm to her young boy if she resisted, the police chief said.
When they finally left for the final time, they burned down the home and shot dead their dogs.
Footage has also emerged purporting to show the murder scene of a Ukrainian woman allegedly held captive and raped by soldiers under the command of Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov.
The clip, shared on Telegram and Twitter by Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, showed the inside of a house where Tetiana Zadorozhniak is thought to have been slaughtered in the town of Makariv, 30 miles from Kyiv, last month.
According to residents of the town, Tetiana was dragged out of her home by Kadyrov’s men as she waited to evacuate the town with her friend before being held captive in a nearby house and abused.
After days of torture, one of the soldiers raped her for a final time before cutting her throat and unceremoniously dumping her lifeless body in a shallow grave, local residents said.
Witnesses claimed that the Chechen soldier who raped and killed Tetiana was later executed by other officers.
Russia has repeatedly denied attacking civilians since its invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
The United Nations said last week that human rights monitors were seeking to verify allegations of sexual violence by Russian forces, including gang rape and rapes in front of children.
Ukraine’s U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on allegations against Ukraine forces.
‘Russia, as we have stated more than once, does not wage war against the civilian population,’ Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy told the Security Council on Monday, accusing Ukraine and allies of ‘a clear intention to present Russian soldiers as sadists and rapists.’
UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, said that all allegations must by independently investigated to ensure justice and accountability.
‘We are increasingly hearing of rape and sexual violence,’ she told the council. ‘The combination of mass displacement with the large pressure results of conscripts and mercenaries and the brutality displayed against Ukrainian civilians has raised all red flags.’
All sides in the Ukraine war have systems of conscription, where young men are required by law to do military service. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of using mercenaries.
Russia says it is carrying out a ‘special military operation’ to support independence declarations by separatists in two provinces in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Security Council that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine was ‘launching a special mechanism of documentation of cases of sexual violence by Russian soldiers against Ukrainian women.’