Putin's private army at the center of disturbing reports about their mistreatment of moms on maternity ward: report
Military members of Russian President Vladamir Putin's private army are reportedly sharing details about their comrades disturbing behavior toward new mothers on a maternity ward.
According to The Daily Beast, Russian military officials have revealed mercenaries part of Putin's brutal Wagner group "allegedly raped women admitted to a maternity ward in a hospital in the Central African Republic (CAR)."
Speaking to The Beast, under the condition that their identities would not be disclosed, three members of the militant group detailed the experiences they've witnessed.
On April 10, members of the private army are said to have staged an attack targeting the Henri Izamo military camp stationed in the capital of Bangui.
“[The military headquarters] received a report last month from the [hospital] center detailing how three Russian instructors stormed the maternity ward and began to sexually assault women on admission,” one of the officials told The Beast.
“Among the victims, the military was informed, are two mothers who had just given birth to babies and health workers on duty,” said the official, who added that the military “is convinced that the report is genuine.”
Multiple witnesses have also confirmed the harrowing reports. One gendarme, who was on duty when members of the Russian military targeted the hospital.
“They started indecently touching the women and signaling for sex from the two women who had just put to bed,” said the gendarme. He also alleged that the Russians tried to rape the nurse on duty who had confronted them saying the women had just given birth and still had blood on them. “She struggled to free herself [and] ran to the labour room,” he reportedly said.
The Beast also noted: "'As this was going on,' said the gendarme, a 'nurse aide who happened to be an adjutant-chef (Chief Warrant Officer) and who was still in the maternity tried to beg the Russians to be human but they turned on her and sexually abused her one after the other.'"
In wake of the latest reports, Cédric Niamathé, described as a "Bangui-based human rights activist who helps connect victims of various abuses to human rights lawyers," is sounding off about the problem. He also offered a status update on one victim, in particular.
“She was so sick and was sleeping when the Russians arrived,” said Niamathé. “All she could remember was opening her eyes and seeing a naked white soldier, who had covered her mouth with his hand, on top of her, raping her.”
However, a CAR military senior official explained how and why it would be difficult to hold the offending military members accountable.
“Disciplining a Russian instructor who has committed a crime is not what the military can confidently act on,” the military official saidbprivately. “Only the president can decide on how to deal with the Russians.”
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