Ukrainian women assaulted by compatriots who mistook them for Russians — Analysis

Initially believed to be Russian, the attacker was actually a former Ukrainian soldier

Two Ukrainian women were raped in France by a man arrested by police. The man initially appeared to be Russian. However, Nice’s prosecutor released a statement Wednesday revealing that the suspect is in fact an ex-military soldier from Ukraine.

Alina and Elena from Ukraine, both victims of the attack, originally reported their attacker as a Russian-speaking male who attacked them while they were on the shore listening to Ukrainian music. “When we heard how he spoke, we understood”Alina revealed that the man was Russian. A number of injuries were sustained by the two women in the attack. Alina suffered from a head injury and Elena may have suffered a broken nose.

It was immediately reported by the media in Kiev. Several officials quickly confirmed that the attacker was Russian when the story was published. On social media, many commented that the incident demonstrated how dangerous Russian people are.

Spokesperson for the country’s Foreign Ministry Oleg Nikolenko insisted that “the aggressors must be punished” and called for an immediate and thorough investigation into the attack while Ukraine’s Embassy in France denounced the assault as a “heinous incident.”

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French police detained a man confessing to having attacked the women on Tuesday. The man, 33 years old and a former soldier in Ukraine’s military, was arrested by French police. Police say the man admitted assaulting the women, but downplayed the severity of his attack and insisted he merely “slapped” them, as reported by the 20 Minutes news outlet. The Ukrainian also stated that he thought the women he attacked were Russian nationals because of their “Russian accent.”

The Nice prosecutor stated that the attacker faces three years imprisonment and a 45,000 euro ($45,000 fine) for race-based violence. It is anticipated that the hearing will take place in November.

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