Ukrainian woman claims Russian troops raped women in Kherson

A woman holds her child as she tries to board a free train to Poland at a train station in Lviv, Ukraine.

Photo: DANIEL LEAL / Getty Images

A Ukrainian resident of the city of Khersoncontrolled by Russia, said the occupation troops “have already started raping our women”.

Svetlana Zorina, 27 years oldwho lives with her grandmother in the Black Sea port city of about 290,000 people and was captured on Wednesday, spoke to CNN about the dire situation and accused the invading forces of sexually assaulting women.

“They have already started raping our women. There was information from people I personally know that it happened to a 17-year-old girl and then they killed her.", he told host John Berman on Friday. These claims have yet to be independently verified.

Asked if city residents have mounted any resistance, he said all people can do is "just stay home and take care of ourselves because we're scared."

Zorina added: “We are terrified and scared, but we are not going to give up.”

On Wednesday, Mayor Igor Kolykhaiev cited new rules for citizens after "armed visitors" stormed the city hall.

The regulations included that venues be allowed to go out only in pairs and that drivers had to go slowly and be "ready to show the contents of the transport at any time."

“The military will not be provoked. Stop at first demand,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

In a separate interview on CNN earlier, Zorina said that despite the Russian occupation, Kherson is a "Ukrainian city and we want to remain a Ukrainian city."

"Our city is... flooded with Russian occupiers, but the flag remains Ukrainian and we hope it remains Ukrainian," he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. “We trust our mayor. We trust our government. We trust our army. We believe in our victory."

She added: "We try not to go out because it's dangerous. Today, for the first time, I went out to check in a store about a hundred meters from me, if they had any food, but there was nothing because we are surrounded by Russians and it is impossible to deliver food or medicine here.

Zorina said that the city administration is still trying to communicate with its people amid Russian disinformation.

“Our mayor is in contact with us and the city administration is in contact with us. There are Telegram channels. There is a website from our mayor's office, and they share information, they spread information with us," he told CNN.

“There is a huge propaganda that the Russians are trying to spread among the Khersonians and the Ukrainians, as if we want to become part of Crimea. Is not true. We don't want to,” she said.

“The mayor is just telling us how the city will work for the next few days, that transportation will work for the people who work at the power station, the water station, and so on.”

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