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Zelensky denounces Amnesty International report that accuses Ukrainian military of endangering civilians

Source: Meduza
Update

‘Into military targets’ How Russian propaganda utilized and distorted allegations by Amnesty International that Ukrainian troops endanger civilians

Update

‘Into military targets’ How Russian propaganda utilized and distorted allegations by Amnesty International that Ukrainian troops endanger civilians

Denouncing a new report by Amnesty International that accuses the Ukrainian military of endangering civilians, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech on Thursday that the human rights organization is “unfortunately trying to amnesty a terrorist state and shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.” “There is and cannot — even hypothetically — be any condition under which a Russian strike against Ukraine becomes justified,” warned Zelensky.

“The Ukrainian military’s practice of locating military objectives within populated areas does not in any way justify indiscriminate Russian attacks,” Amnesty International concluded in its report, published on August 4. After spending several weeks investigating Russian strikes in the Kharkiv, Donbas, and Mykolaiv regions, Amnesty’s researchers found that Ukrainian forces have “put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas, including in schools and hospitals, as they repelled the Russian invasion that began in February.”

Amnesty’s report states that “such tactics violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians, as they turn civilian objects into military targets.”

Researchers noted that Russia also attacked residential areas without any Ukrainian military presence. In some areas of Kharkiv, for example, the organization “did not find evidence of Ukrainian forces located in the civilian areas unlawfully targeted by the Russian military.”

Kateryna Mitieva, the spokeswoman for Amnesty International’s Ukraine branch, later explained that her office was not involved in creating the August 4 report. According to the organization’s own rules, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Department is responsible for documenting violations and crimes during armed conflicts. In remarks to the Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske, Mitieva stressed that researchers found evidence that the Ukrainian military has violated international humanitarian law, not committed any war crimes. (Meanwhile, Amnesty International has documented considerable evidence of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers.)

In response to the backlash against the report, Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard tweeted, “Ukrainian and Russian social media mobs and trolls: they are all at it today attacking Amnesty investigations. This is called war propaganda, disinformation, misinformation. This won’t dent our impartiality and won’t change the facts.”