Ukraine war: Russian army rape claims orchestrated by Western spin, says NebenzyaComments
Russia's representative at the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, has hit back at claims his country's soldiers have raped women, girls and boys in Ukraine.
The UN says it has received 124 allegations of "conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine".
It has prompted the US to call on Moscow to "take measures within its army and its auxiliaries" to stop sexual violence from being used as a weapon of war.
"It is incumbent on Russia to stop the rapes, violence and atrocities committed by its soldiers," said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a meeting of the UN Security Council. "It is incumbent on Russia to put an end to this atrocious unprovoked war against the Ukrainian people."
But Nebenzya hit back, claiming UN rapporteurs had not given a single example of the alleged sexual violence.
"These allegations fit in nicely in a depiction of Russian soldiers as beasts and brute barbarians, orchestrated by Western spin doctors - exactly like the Goebbels henchmen did at the close of WWII," said Nebenzya.
The Ukrainian ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, also accused the Russian army of sexual violence in his country, citing Moscow's desire to erase all traces of it.
He called for a solution to be found to "Russia's occupation of the permanent Soviet seat" on the UN Security Council.
"The sooner the better" and "we need a credible council", he pleaded.
Several other members of the council also denounced the use of sexual violence, which may constitute war crimes under international law.
China has called for any allegations to be investigated based on facts.
Noting that "women constitute the majority of alleged victims", Pramila Patten, special representative to the UN Security Council on sexual violence in conflict, asked "that amnesties for crimes of sexual violence are explicitly prohibited" from any eventual and future peace agreement.