December 7, 2022

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Amnesty stands by Ukraine report after Zelensky's criticism

Amnesty stands by Ukraine report after Zelensky’s criticism

Ukraine is reaching out to Amnesty International, but the organization is sticking to accusations that Ukrainian forces are putting civilians at risk in the war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a press conference in Kyiv in July.

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A recognized human rights organization published a Report They accuse Ukraine of violating international law. The report says that Ukrainian forces have endangered the lives of civilians by establishing military bases in residential areas, schools and hospitals.

Spokesperson for President Volodymyr Zelensky Thursday answered By accusing Amnesty of colluding with the Russian propaganda machine. Zelensky himself believes that Amnesty wrongly equates Ukraine as a victim with Russia’s invasion force.

Amnesty is standing by its investigations, the organization’s secretary general, Agnes Callamard, said on Friday.

The findings are based on evidence gathered during extensive investigations, which have been subjected to the same rigorous standards and thorough review as all of AI’s work, Callamard says.

– It can’t be silenced

A Ukrainian soldier looks at the destruction of a school attacked by Russian invading forces in Chuhozhev, Kharkiv region, on July 16. It is not known if this attack was among those investigated in Amnesty’s new report.

Amnesty International has made clear that Ukrainian tactics in no way justify Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the president believes that the organization is trying to “justify the actions of the terrorist state and shift responsibility from the attacker to the victim.”

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– In his daily video address on Thursday, Zelensky said: – If someone makes a report that the victim and the attacker appear to be somehow equal, then this cannot be tolerated.

– Zelensky said in the letter that there are no circumstances, not even hypothetical ones, in which a Russian attack on Ukraine could be justified.

He wanted to stop the report

Callamard is concerned that the Ukrainian government’s reaction is hindering “legitimate and important discussions on these topics”. It notes that the government did not respond to Amnesty International’s request for comment on the findings prior to the report’s publication.

Callamard also notes that AI has come up with a number of Reports Which documents war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Amnesty International Ukraine will not translate Thursday’s report into Ukrainian nor will it upload material to its website. This is according to the head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine office, Oksana Pokalchuk, who said her team had asked the main office not to publish the report.

19 towns and villages

Callamard stresses that the report underwent a full internal review, which means Amnesty International Ukraine could raise objections.

In the report, Amnesty included incidents where Ukrainian forces appeared to endanger civilians in 19 towns and villages in the Kharkiv, Donbass and Mykolaiv regions.

We have documented a pattern in which Ukrainian forces endanger civilians and violate the laws of war when operating in populated areas, Callamard says.

According to Amnesty International, the residential areas where Ukrainian soldiers set up positions in the incidents investigated were miles from the front line, but there were reasonable alternatives that would not have put civilians at risk.

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According to the news, the soldiers failed to ask civilians to evacuate the areas, although they fired their weapons at the Russian forces, thus exposing the areas to counterattacks.

Schools and Hospitals

MSF staff witnessed the hospitals being used by Ukrainian forces as “de facto military bases” in five locations. Amnesty also claims that the Ukrainian military routinely set up bases in schools.

Schools have been temporarily closed since the outbreak of the war, but they are located in civilian-populated neighbourhoods.