”Mommy, my cookie hurts, mom, it hurts so much.” Russian soldiers raped little children in occupied Ukrainian settlements. We talked to the psychologist who now works with two such girls, aged 9 and 11

Yevhen Spirin
”Mommy, my cookie hurts, mom, it hurts so much.” Russian soldiers raped little children in occupied Ukrainian settlements. We talked to the psychologist who now works with two such girls, aged 9 and 11

Kateryna Bandus / «Бабель»

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion in Ukraine, 183 children have been killed and 342 injured. The Ukrainian Parliament's commissioner for human rights Liudmyla Denisova has revealed the facts of how the occupiers brutally rape children. According to her, an 11-year-old boy was raped in front of his mother in Bucha town while she was tied to a chair. A 14-year-old girl was raped by five men. Babel editor-in-chief Eugene Spirin spoke with psychologist and psychiatrist Liliya Shakalova, who now works with two raped girls, aged nine and eleven. They were taken out of the settlements near Kyiv, which were occupied by the Russian soldiers. Both girls are now safe, they are with their parents, and are undergoing therapy. We do not name the children and publish just a fragment of this conversation. The content is very graphic, please be aware of this. We encourage you to share this article for the world to know what Ukraine is now going through.

Are you currently working with children who were raped?

― I have two such clients, both are girls. Their parents approached me. Yes, they are children and this is a deep trauma. Iʼve been working with them for a week already.

How old are they?

― One girl is 9, the second is 11 years old. The first one was wounded very, very badly. It has already been stitched up. The second girl is suspected of being pregnant because she already had periods before, but doesnʼt have any now. Though it may be so because sheʼs too stressed. This girl is now supervised by a gynecologist. This girl was stitched up earlier, while her settlement still was occupied. The locals managed to find a doctor living there.

How were they raped?

― One of the girls was raped in Bucha near Kyiv. Her mother went out for water with other mothers and children. One or two children were left alone. The orcs broke in. They raped the girl, she started screaming, then they beat the woman [who tried to rescue her]. When the mother of [the raped child] returned, the beaten woman showed signs with her hands: "Quiet, be quiet, donʼt scare the child, she has her fingers around her mouth." The mother saw her bloodied child and wanted screaming. And the little girl said: "Mommy, my cookie hurts, mom, it hurts so much." This is a 9-year-old child.

What about the second child?

― She has no father and lived together with her grandmother. She was raped in front of that woman. The grandmother started screaming, but [the Russians] hit her in the face. It was terrible.

How do you conduct the therapy?

― My task is to separate the sex life from what happened to these girls. I tell them: here is a tiger in a cage, just like these bad people. They grew up in one very bad country, such people do not live in a normal country. A tiger and a cat look alike, but the cat is harmless and can walk freely. As a tiger [when among people] belongs to a cage, these people will all be in cages as well. Now [good] people are building a big wall so that none of such bad persons could get here. My task is to separate this bestiality from the fact that these women do not cease to be women.

Are both girls safe now in Kyiv, in the clinics?

― One is in Kyiv, the other is near Kyiv.

How did the children agree to the therapy?

― At first they didnʼt say anything at all. I have a lot of experience, I have been practicing as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst for 40 years. I worked in [an upscale] Feofania hospital for 29 years. I had a lot of toys in my office. But thatʼs in the office, at home I have no toys. But there is my jewelry. I love silver and have a lot of it. And girls are still girls, even after they were raped. I show her the silver, she starts looking at something. And I start talking to her carefully, carefully, very carefully. I wonʼt show these girls to anyone. And I wonʼt allow them to be photographed.

They cannot be shown to anyone.

― I was asked 10 minutes ago: “Well, could you at least take a photo from the back?” No! Even for me itʼs so hard to make contact with them.

Support Babel:

🔸 Donate in hryvnia

🔸 in cryptocurrency

🔸 via PayPal: [email protected]