The atrocities of the russian military against the civilian population of Ukraine are a deliberate policy of russia's top leadership to exterminate Ukrainians.
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna emphasized during an online address to members of the Commitees on Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination of the Italian Senate.
Olha Stefanishyna noted that russia is committing open genocide of Ukrainians by killing and torturing civilians, and stressed that the responsibility for the war in Ukraine lies with the whole of russian society, not just putin and his proxies.
"russian soldiers are killing Ukrainian citizens, while russian officials and businesses are working to support putin's terrorist decisions. russian media openly discuss the liquidation of the Ukrainian people and the attacks on Poland, the Baltic states and all those who are not ready to remain silent. This is a real genocide. russia's main goal is to prevent the existence of Ukrainians as a separate nation," the official said.
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that more and more horrific details about mass murders, rapes and sexual violence committed by the russian military in the liberated territories of Ukraine emerge day after day.
"To date, more than 3,000 cases of rape are known. And, unfortunately, there will be even more. Women, the elderly and even children were raped. We have records of conversations of russian soldiers, where they openly admit to the rape of Ukrainian women. These details showed the world the true face of the russian army," said Olha Stefanishyna.
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that the Government, together with international partners and non-governmental organizations, is making efforts to help the victims. The official informed the senators about the process of recording international crimes committed by the russian military in Ukraine.
"Today, the world is facing a global challenge. We must show unity in providing adequate support to Ukrainians who have faced serious crimes," said Olha Stefanishyna.
The situation in Mariupol was another acute issue raised by the Deputy Prime Minister. The official stressed that talks with russia on rescuing the city's residents have not yielded results, as the russians want to negotiate anything but rescuing people.
"Today it is clear that without decisive and swift action by the EU and NATO, the russian military machine will not stop. The response of the whole world must be immediate. Tighter sanctions against russia and more weapons for Ukraine. It is critical that we be able to protect Ukraine and its citizens," said Olha Stefanishyna.
The Deputy Prime Minister called on the senators to work together to expand Italy's role in protecting Ukraine's civilian population and to hold russia accountable for its crimes.