The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commented on the statement of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sexual Violence in Conflicts, Pramila Patten, that the Russian Federation uses rape in war as part of its military strategy. Zakharova said that Patten uses "fragmentary data" that is "difficult to verify," and the UN commission investigating war crimes in Ukraine is not recognized by Russia at all. At the end, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry for some reason remembered the publications of the Reuters agency, which spoke about rapes at protests in Libya in 2011. Zakharova called them "stuffing" - apparently as proof that the West as a whole cannot be trusted.
Zakharova's statement contains two whole fakes. First, she misrepresented Patten, who did not say that she was relying on unverified data, but that the cases of sexual violence recorded in the UN report are just the tip of the iceberg, because victims are ashamed to report such.
But “reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” Patten said verbatim .
"It's very difficult to have reliable statistics in a time of active conflict and the numbers will never reflect reality because sexual violence is a hidden crime that goes largely unreported."
Secondly, rape in Libya during the 2011 uprising was reported not only by Reuters and Western politicians, but also by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court said there is evidence that Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi ordered the rape of hundreds of women as a weapon against rebel forces.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo argued that rape was a new aspect of Colonel Gaddafi's repression.
He said he was looking into possible evidence that pro-Gaddafi security forces were receiving drugs such as Viagra to boost their sex drive.
Messages about Viagra, which was handed out to Gaddafi's troops, first appeared not in Reuters, but in the plot of the Arabic television channel Al Jazeera.
The Western media and politicians treated this story with caution at the time, as the Viagra was handed over to the correspondent by rebels who claimed to have found it in the pockets of soldiers loyal to the regime. Only US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice spoke seriously about this story. However, as the British Guardian wrote , this remark did not cause a stir in the UN, and experts in international relations were skeptical about Rice's statements. What's more, Sheriff Bassiuni, who led the United Nations human rights investigation in Libya, called the Viagra reports part of "mass hysteria." However, no one had any doubts that government troops practiced the rape of protesters. The UN differed only in assessing the scale of this phenomenon.
In the following years, after the fall of the Gaddafi regime, more women spoke of being raped as punishment for participating in the protests. In 2012, former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Ali Mahmoud appeared before the court - among other things, he was accused of ordering mass rapes during the war. In 2014, the new Libyan government announced that it would pay compensation to the victims.