Ukrainian teen 'gang-raped, dumped in a ditch and set on fire by sons of former government officials' (but survives)
- Girl, 18, incredibly survives ordeal after being left for dead
- But suffered 50% burns and needed arm and feet amputated
- Naked protesters lead mass outcry at sloppy police investigation
- Suspects initially released over 'lack of evidence', but are re-arrested and charged after President steps in
- MPs: 'Bring in death penalty or castrate suspects'
By Simon Tomlinson
PUBLISHED: 00:38 GMT, 18 March 2012 | UPDATED: 11:47 GMT, 18 March 2012
'I thought I had died': Oksana Makar claims she was gang-raped, dumped in a ditch and set on fire by three men
The shocking case of a young woman allegedly gang-raped, dumped in a ditch and set on fire by two sons of ex-government officials has sparked mass protests across Ukraine.
Naked campaigners led protests over the sloppy nature of the police investigation and the perceived leniency with which the suspects have been treated.
Some Members of Parliament have called for Ukraine to bring in the death penalty for the accused, with one even suggesting the alleged rapists be castrated.
Two of the suspects were Maxim Prisyjnikov, 23, the son of the regional administrator, and Artyon Pogosyan, 21, the son of the regional prosecutor, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.
The victim, Oksana Makar, remarkably survived the horrific attack in Mykolayiv on March 9.
But the fire has stripped off 55 per cent of her skin and surgeons had to amputate one of her arms and both her feet as they battled to keep her alive.
The 18-year-old claims she was invited by Prisyjnikov and Pogosyan to their friend Yevgeniy Krasnoshek's apartment, where she was allegedly raped.
They tried to strangle her to death before wrapping her in a sheet, dumping her in a pit at a construction site and setting her alight, it was alleged in the Kyiv Post.
Bare necessities: Women's rights group Femen protest naked outside the state prosecutor's office in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to demand tough punishment for three men accused of raping and set alight an 18-year-old woman
Makar was found barely alive the following day by a man who heard her moaning. After undergoing surgery, she was finally able to recount her ordeal to police.
In an interview with Gazeta.ua, she said: 'I thought I would not survive. I could not feel my body. At first, I was screaming for help.
'But there was nobody there, I began to pray. I thought I had died. I remember it all as if in a fog.'
The three suspects were arrested, but two of them were released later that day due to lack of evidence, according to the Mykolayiv prosecutor’s office.
Outcry: Campaigners were also angry at the perceived leniency handed down to the arrested men, two of whom were initially released over 'lack of evidence'
Prosecutors say they did not question Makar because she was not conscious despite her mother insisting she was able to speak.
But anger erupted across the country when a chief police officer confirmed two of the suspects were sons of former government officials, one of whom apparently appeared in a YouTube video calmly describing the attack.
Women's rights group Femen staged a topless protest in front of the general prosecutors office in the capital, Kyiv, chanting 'Death to the sadists!' and 'Execute the b****s!'
The demonstrations led Ukrainian President Yanukovych to order the general prosecutor to oversee the case and on March 13 the two men were re-arrested and all three suspects were charged with attempted murder.