Report: Russian soldier arrested for ... raping Ukrainian baby on video

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

This is so horrendous that you’ll be tempted to assume it’s propaganda. Not even the Russians would do that.

But it’s real, apparently. I didn’t see it myself, thank God, but friends on social media reported stumbling across the video in their feeds over the weekend. A few lawyers even posted reminders not to post or promote the clip, even with good intentions of exposing Russian brutality, because it’s a federal crime to do so.


Reports are circulating that the Russian soldier responsible has been arrested. Since he filmed his own atrocity, for once the Kremlin couldn’t attribute it to a Ukrainian “false flag.”

ONE of Putin’s soldiers has reportedly been arrested in Ukraine after a horrifying video of a baby being raped was shared online.

Alexei Bychkov was detained in Russia on Saturday after the vile clip emerged on social media over the weekend…

In the footage, he is reported to say he is recording a “fierce video” before assaulting the baby…

Bychkov is also alleged to have shared other videos of despicable child abuse with friends and colleagues.

The Russians are taking “souvenirs” on their Ukrainian safari. Some take radioactive equipment from Chernobyl, others take the innocence of defenseless children and commemorate the moment on their smartphones.

We’ll never know how many of these crimes might not have been committed if not for the enormous amount of dehumanizing state propaganda about Ukrainians being fed to Russians. Certainly some would have been; rape is nothing new in the Russian way of war. The fact that Bychkov allegedly circulated footage of his depravity, though, betrays a certain boastfulness about what he’d done. Any Russian patriot can execute a Ukrainian prisoner but how many are “fierce” enough to rape a one-year-old?


I bet he was surprised to have been arrested rather than commended. Hopefully he’ll end up back on the battlefield, as I’m sure the Ukrainians are looking for him.

That’s the worst allegation of rape in Ukraine I’ve seen in the past week but there’s no shortage of others. The Times has a haunting report today on some of the bodies found strewn across Bucha and the stories of how they came to lie where they did, replete with photos. One picture shows a dead woman with bare legs wearing a fur coat. Quote:

It was only when he returned after the Russians pulled out of Kyiv that Mr. Shepitko discovered just how far the Russian soldiers had gone. His house had been ransacked, filled with rubbish and beer bottles. Then, in a cellar under the garden shed, his nephew discovered the body of a woman. Slumped sitting down, bare legs akimbo, she wore a fur coat and nothing else.

She had been shot in the head, and he found two bullet casings on the ground. When the police pulled her out and conducted a search, they found torn condom wrappers and one used condom upstairs in the house.

The abuse of the woman was one case of many, said Ukraine’s official ombudswoman for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova. She said she had recorded horrific cases of sexual violence by Russian troops in Bucha and other places, including one in which a group of women and girls were kept in a basement of a house for 25 days. Nine of them are now pregnant, she said.


“The Russian army is a terrorist organization,” Eli Lake said pithily about the Times’s Bucha story. But it’s the tip of the iceberg.

One woman from southern Ukraine, the wife of a soldier, tells of being in line at a shop when two Russian troops noticed her. A local told them she was a “banderovka,” a reference to the Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with the Nazis against the USSR during World War II. She says the Russians followed her home, barged through the door, then took turns raping her until 4 a.m., when they had to return to base. “Disgusting. Very disgusting. I don’t want to live,” she told AFP. At least she survived: The Daily Mail has heard of a widow with two young children who caught the attention of Chechen soldiers and was held captive for days and raped before her throat was cut.

Another woman told the Guardian that emergency contraception was one of the first things she grabbed when the bombing began on February 24. “My mother tried to reassure me: ‘This is not a war like that, they don’t exist anymore, they are from old movies.’ I have been a feminist for eight years, and I cried in silence, because all wars are like this,” she said. Rapes are committed during all wars, that’s true. Rape as a deliberate weapon of war is another matter, however.


Is that what the Russians are doing here? To what degree are these incidents one-off crimes perpetrated by rogue soldiers versus a course of conduct informally encouraged by leadership? Remember, having failed to quickly topple Zelensky’s government and be greeted as liberators, Russia’s “strategy” at this point is to simply terrorize the Ukrainian population until it sues for peace. They probably can’t beat the Ukrainian army on the battlefield but they can potentially make the war brutal enough for civilians that Ukraine’s government will begin making concessions just to stop the slaughter.

The likely truth is that it’s somewhere in between. Russian commanders aren’t ordering anyone to commit rape, I assume, but what troops do when they’re out of sight of their CO is between them and the Ukrainians. Just file it under “the spoils of war.”

Here’s Zelensky, trying to hold his country together.

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David Strom 5:00 PM | May 23, 2024