Episode 105 – Prosecuting CRSV in Ukraine with Anna Sosonska and Anastasiia Moiseieva

Anna and Anastasiia top left with Janet top right and Stephanie below.

We wanted to look at how the investigation and prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is going in Ukraine, especially since the full-scale invasion in 2022. According to the United Nations, there’s been a pattern of sexual violence across Ukraine, including in the Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts and the number and consistent reports of sexual violence and rape in Russian-occupied areas suggest “a widespread and systematic pattern committed by Russian forces”. The UN also says there are “allegations of rape, including gang rape, attempted rape, forced nudity, threats of sexual violence against civilian women and girls, men and boys.” 

But what does that mean in terms of actual prosecutions? To provide some insights we chatted to Anna Sosonska, Prosecutor and (now – congratulations!) Head of the CRSV Division in Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General and Anastasiia Moiseieva, deputy team lead of the NGO Global Rights Compliance CRSV team. 

In terms of recommendations, Anna looked back at the outcome of MH17 trial in the Netherlands, while Anastasiia talked of Izolyatsiya – the most famous detention place established in 2014 in occupied Donetsk, a torture chamber where Stanislav Aseyev journalist and writer was held and wrote a book describing “every imaginable kind of sexual violence” committed there.

This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.