A wife who was recorded giving her Russian soldier husband permission to rape Ukrainian women during Vladimir Putin‘s invasion has been pictured, as it emerged the man has been wounded in the fighting.
In the recording, the woman – allegedly Bykovskaya – is heard telling the man that he has her permission to rape Ukrainian women while he is serving in Russia’s invading forces, so long as he does not tell her and uses contraception.
The shocking 30-second clip was released on April 12 as Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian troops of carrying out ‘hundreds of rapes’ including sexual assaults of small children in his country.
The audio clip shared by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) opened with the blue and yellow title: ‘SECURITY SERVICE INTERCEPT: Wives of Russian invaders allow their men to rape Ukrainian women.’
The voice of a woman, believed to be Olga Bykovskaya, is then heard: ‘So yeah, do it over there,’ she says. It then becomes clear what she is agreeing to. ‘Ukrainian women there. Rape them. Yeah.
‘Don’t tell me anything, understand,’ she adds with a shy laugh.
A man’s voice – believed to be that of Roman Bykovsky is then heard. ‘Uh-huh,’ he says. ‘So I should rape and not tell you anything,’ he asks, clarifying that the woman is giving him permission.
‘Yes, so that I wouldn’t know anything,’ the women’s voice says, before they are both heard laughing this time. ‘Why do you ask?’ she adds.
‘Can I really?’ he asks again.
‘Yeah, I allow you,’ she says, with a giggle. ‘Just use protection,’ she adds.
The man replies again: ‘Ok.’
Investigative journalists at Radio Liberty worked with law enforcement in Ukraine to track the phone involved in the call, with one of the numbers being traced to the Kherson region in April.
The investigators then found that the two phone numbers were linked to two accounts on Russia’s VKontakte social network – belonging to 27-year-old Roman Bykovsky and his wife Olga Bykovskaya – both originally from Orel in Russia.
Roman’s account was closed to the public, however the journalists found him pictured in photographs uploaded by one of his friends – Alexei Zabrusov – which showed that they served together in 2016 in the same army division.
From there, the investigators were able to find other friends and family members of Roman, which led them to more pictures of him in military uniform which established that is now part of Russia’s 108th Guards Airborne Assault Regiment – a unit known for its involvement in the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
They also learned that the couple had moved to the Russian occupied Crimean peninsula, approximately around 2018.
Olga’s social media account meanwhile was open (until it was deleted on April 13). On her account, she was shown in pictures with the man identified as Roman Bykovsky. It also showed the pair share a 4-year-old child together.
Radio Liberty tried calling the couple using the numbers that were discovered.
Roman reportedly answered, and denied that he was still in the Kherson region, and once he learned that he was being contacted by reporters also denied he was the man in the audio recording. However, Radio Liberty said his voice was a match.
Olga Bykovska also answered, and confirmed to Radio Liberty that her husband was in Sevastopol being treated for an injury. After revealing that, she quickly cut the phone call off. Her social media account was deleted soon after that.
The 30-second audio clip of the conversation was posted to the telegram channel of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Tuesday.
‘Wives of Russian aggressors call on their husbands to rape Ukrainian women,’ the agency wrote on Telegram, along with the clip.
‘This shocking interception by the SBU reflects the moral values not only of the occupiers but also of their relatives, 80% of whom now support the war in Ukraine,’ the agency claimed in its description of the recording.