KIEV, Ukraine – An 18-year-old Ukranian woman died Thursday, two weeks after her grisly rape set off protests across the country against corruption and favoritism toward the wealthy.
Prosecutors said Oksana Makar was raped by three young men on March 9 in the southern city of Mykolaiv. The men then tried to cover up their crime by strangling her, dumping her naked body at an abandoned construction site and setting her on fire.
Makar miraculously survived and battled for her life for more than two weeks. She suffered burns over more than half of her body and severe damage to her lungs, and her right arm was amputated to stop the gangrene.
Health officials in the eastern city of Donetsk, where she was being treated, said she died Thursday after succumbing to her injuries.
Before her death, her mother Tatyana Surovitska was reportedly able to record a short video of her daughter. In the video, Makar said she wants her rapists to be castrated and imprisoned, according to Ukrainian paper Kyiv Post.
The crime outraged Ukrainians with its cruelty. It also galvanized a society frustrated with official corruption after police released two of the suspects who had powerful connections in the region. Their release led to nationwide protests, which prompted the authorities to re-arrest the two suspects.
Interior Ministry Volodymyr Polishchuk said Thursday that after Makar's death all three suspects were charged with murder in addition to rape.
The suspects are said to be related to influential local ex-officials, according to Kyiv Post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.