An elderly Ukrainian woman shares her story of sexual assault by Russian forces

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An elderly Ukrainian woman tells the story of how she was raped by Russian soldiers when her village was taken over. CBS News.

Because Ukraine’s military heard reports of sexual assault at the hands of Russian forces — including an alleged account from a 16-year-old girl — they took CBS News to Vera’s village.

Vera, whose last names are being withheld for her security, said that she was sexually assaulted and beaten while her husband, who was disabled, was at the house.

The outlet reported that the 83 year-old woman was grabbed at the back of her neck by one of two men.

“I started to choke, I couldn’t breathe,” she said.

CBS News reported that she had told her assailant she was old enough for him to call her his mother. 

“‘Would you let this happen to your mother?'” she asked.

“He made me shut up,” she told the outlet. 

“When he finished he grabbed a bottle of vodka,” she said. “I asked if I could put my clothes back on. He barked, ‘No!'”

Vera said when he left, he fired his assault rifle in the air three times outside. 

The woman told CBS she believes the assailant was from Ukraine’s far east. This region is controlled by Russian-backed separatists where there are reports of men being enlisted into the war on behalf of Russia.

According to CBS News, the allegations have not been verified, but said that Vera’s story was, “detailed, compelling and heartbreaking,”It was shared with her Ukrainian police. They took her sheets for testing. 

“He should have shot me. I wish he had killed me instead of what he did,” Vera said to the outlet.

“Everything hurts. I’m not alive or dead. I no longer feel the joy of spring. I don’t have anything.”