Claims made by the UN special representative on sexual violence, Pramila Patten, go “beyond the reach of reason,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Sunday. Earlier this week, Patten accused Russia of employing a “deliberate” rape “strategy” as part of its military campaign in Ukraine.
“One cannot even comment on P. Patten’s … words in a serious way,” Zakharova said, adding that the UN official’s conclusions were based on data that is difficult to verify, according to Patten herself.
“Once again, what we are seeing is a classic ‘highly likely’ [story], which has this time reached the level of twisted imagination,” Zakharova said. According to her, the UN official made her conclusions based on fragmentary data provided by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine – a group created in spring 2022 on the basis of a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. Russia has not recognized its mandate, Zakharova added.