The twisted taunts were directed at women who were fleeing the Azovstal steel factory in the city of Mariupol where Ukrainian soldiers, civilians and children remain trapped
Ukrainian women escaping from Mariupol were taunted by Russian soldiers who threatened to murder their partners and send them their heads in a box, it is claimed.
The sick taunts were directed at women who were fleeing the Azovstal steel works in the city on a UN and Red Cross mercy mission.
But they were halted at numerous checkpoints and made to strip while Russian armed forces members abused them verbally, one told news website Ukrainian Pravda.
“Women who had acquaintances serving in the Ukrainian military or the police were threatened,” said Katia, who escaped with two children. “They were promised that they would be sent their husband’s head in a box.”
She continued: “We were undressed, any scars and tattoos were checked, and women’s underpants were searched.”
Meanwhile, the remaining few defenders at the Ukraine steel plant pleaded with their superiors to get their injured comrades to safety.
Kateryna Prokopenko, the wife of Ukraine’s commander in Mariupol, begged for urgent international help.
She said: “We need to do this right now, because people – every hour, every second – are dying.”
Speaking from Rome, she called for a rescue operation to pull the defenders out of the plant, The Times reported.
She said: ‘We can do this extraction operation. . . which will save our soldiers, our civilians, our kids.”
Russian troops were believed to have breached the perimeter after intense shelling from the air, land and sea.
The Kremlin rejected claims it was an effort to storm the plant, saying the air strikes were designed to stop the defenders taking up new positions.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian soldiers staged counter attacks around the cities of Kharkiv and Izyum where Russians are attempting to build up forces.