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15 Nov, 2022 22:03

RT sends request to UN over rape allegations

A UN official, Pramila Patten, earlier admitted having no solid evidence to justify her claim on Russia’s alleged “rape strategy”
RT sends request to UN over rape allegations

RT has reached out to the UN special representative on sexual violence, Pramila Patten, to request a correction – or retraction – of a statement in which she accused the Russian Armed Forces of employing a deliberate “rape strategy” as part of the military campaign in Ukraine.

Patten made the claim in October, in an interview with the AFP, only to admit she did not have any solid evidence to substantiate it a month later.

“The allegations Ms.Patten has brought forward are of a very serious nature, which have the power to shape public discourse around the events in Ukraine,” RT said in a statement, adding that her words were then “widely distributed amongst media outlets and social media, to create a misleading, if not entirely false, narrative.”

In October, Patten told the AFP that when “you hear women testify about Russian soldiers equipped with Viagra, it’s clearly a military strategy.” Less than a month later, the UN official admitted that her words were based solely on some unverified reports disclosed to her in the presence of two Ukrainian officials. Speaking to Russian prank artists Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, also known as Vovan and Lexus, she recently said that it was “not her job” to conduct investigations anyway.

No evidence has since been provided to corroborate these claims. In its statement, RT asked Patten whether she “intends to issue a retraction – or at least a correction – of her original, misleading statement.” 

“As a person holding such a public role with enormous responsibility, one would hope that Ms Patten seek to provide a true, verified testimony of her organization’s work,” the statement added.

RT also asked Patten’s office to provide some evidence to support her allegations in case the UN special representative believes a retraction would be “improper.” Neither Patten nor her office has commented on the request so far.

Moscow has previously denied the accusations made by Patten. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted the UN official’s claims as going “beyond the reach of reason.”