The relevant journalistic investigation was published on RFE/RL's website, according to Ukrinform.
In a fragment of an intercepted call between a Russian serviceman and his wife, published by the SBU on April 12, the latter, in particular, said to her husband, laughing, the following words: "You go there and rape Ukrainian women ... But don't tell me anything. You got me?"
As Skhemy managed to find out, the Russian serviceman, whom his own wife "allowed" to rape "Ukrainian women," was on deployment in Kherson region at the time of the call. From their sources in the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, journalists learned the Russian phone numbers of the interlocutors. This allowed them to identify both.
According to RFE/RL’s journalists, these two phone numbers were used when registering two accounts on the VKontakte social network: 27-year-old Roman Bykovsky and his wife Olga Bykovska… both based in Oryol region, Russia," the report reads.
It is noted that the woman, who told her husband he could "rape Ukrainian women," wrote in her profile on Vkontakte that the most important thing in her life is "family and children."
Journalists found that Roman Bykovsky around 2016 served in the spec-ops forces’ operational division, which is considered an elite military unit with the Russian National Guard. Subsequently, from around 2018, the serviceman moved to the Russian-occupied Crimea with his wife and newborn son. At the same time, in Crimea, a woman who advised her husband to rape Ukrainian women was looking for a child nursing job. It was Bykovsky who, no later than February 2018, began serving as a contractor with the 108th Guards Assault Kuban Cossack Order of the Red Star Regiment (108th Infantry Division). According to the international OSINT community InformNapalm, this regiment participated in the capture of the Crimean peninsula by Russian troops.
"So, Roman Bykovsky joined the paratroopers who took part in the occupation of Crimea, where he moved his family four years later. And later – in 2022 – he took part in hostilities in the neighboring Kherson region, where his wife, who remained at home with their child, told him he could rape Ukrainian women," the article reads.
At the same time, RFE/RL’s journalists contacted Bykovsky: "Roman confirmed that this is his name and last name, and when asked if he still is in deployment in Kherson region, he said no." He said he was in Sevastopol. Upon learning that he was talking to a journalist, Bykovsky said that the voice on the SBU recording was not his, and his voice was the same as on the "law enforcement tapes."
As for Olga Bykovska's voice, it also completely coincides with that on the recording published by the Ukrainian Security Service. She confirmed to Radio Svoboda that her husband was currently in Sevastopol, adding that he was being treated in hospital after being injured. After that, Bykovska interrupted the conversation and didn’t pick up the phone anymore. Neither Roman Bykovsky nor his wife responded to messages on social media. After the conversation, Bykovska deleted her Vkontakte page altogether.
As reported earlier, since the beginning of the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been plenty of evidence of sexual violence by the Russian military targeting Ukrainian citizens.
On March 4, Human Rights Watch released a report mentioning rape cases in Mariupol and Chernihiv region.
In April, the Commissioner for Human Rights, Liudmyla Denisova, appealed to the UN to investigate cases of sexual violence by Russian forces. According to the Ombudsperson, there is every reason to assume that cases of rape in the territories occupied by Russian troops were widespread. In particular, she reported horrific facts where about 25 girls and women, aged 14 to 24, were systematically raped by Russian soldiers in a household basement in the temporarily occupied Bucha.