Olena Zelenska has renewed calls for Russian soldiers to be prosecuted for rape at an international tribunal.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid in Kyiv, Ukraine’s first lady thanked the UK for the country’s help ‘from day one’ after Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
But ahead of the ‘horrible anniversary’ of the start of the battle on Friday, she said she had been taken aback by the ‘animalistic’ cruelty of soldiers.
The 45-year-old, who has previously accused Russians of using rape as a ‘weapon of war’, said officials had identified at least 150 rapes carried out by Russian soldiers.
‘Unfortunately, in reality, this number is much higher, which is why we expect the support from the international community, with specific regard to a military tribunal for all of the war criminals who are committing such terrible crimes in Ukraine,’ she said.
‘No one expected that this war would be so cruel. Animalistically cruel. War is always terrible but this war is staggeringly cruel.’
Praising the UK for its continued backing, she said: ‘We feel not only the support of the government and the royal family… but also we feel the support of the whole country.
‘The safety of our people is one of the most important matters for us and you are giving us this. You’re one of the first countries who gave us the necessary weapons that we are constantly asking for, which is why we are truly grateful.’
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