First Russian soldier charged with rape war crime in Ukraine is a father with two children
- A soldier broke into a Kyiv house and shot dead its owner before raping his wife
- Ukrainian prosecutor-general don’t know where he is, saying ‘maybe he is dead’
- Mikhail Romanov will be tried in his absence, accused of the same crimes
- Mr Romanov, 31, and wife Albina have a girl, 4, but ‘will not escape a fair trial’
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The first Russian soldier to be charged with using rape as a weapon of war in Ukraine has been revealed as a married father of two.
Mikhail Romanov is due to be tried in his absence. He is accused of breaking into a house and murdering the homeowner before repeatedly attacking his wife.
Ukrainian prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova said: ‘Now we don’t know where he is – maybe he is fighting still, maybe he is on rotation in Russia, maybe he is dead.’
Russian soldiers (pictured) invaded neighbouring Ukraine in February
Pictures show that Romanov, 31, and wife Albina – whose hobby is baking – have a girl.
She is probably around the same age as the son of the woman he is accused of raping.
Investigators say Romanov, a soldier of the 239th regiment of the 90th Guards Tank Vitebsk-Novgorod Division, broke into a house in a suburb of Kyiv in March and shot dead its owner, named as Andrey, 35.
The drunken soldier, along with a comrade, raped his wife, 33, in an ordeal lasting several hours.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova says the missing soldier may still be fighting or on rotation in Russia or he may even be dead but ‘he will not escape a fair trial’
They threatened their victim’s son, four, who was sobbing in the next-door room. She told The Times: ‘All the time they held the gun to my head and taunted me, saying: ‘Shall we kill her or keep her alive?’.’
The soldiers returned and raped her again 20 minutes later. They returned a third time but were so drunk they fell asleep, allowing her and her son to escape.
Miss Venediktova said: ‘Even though the accused is not in our hands yet, he will not escape a fair trial.’