Outrage in Kyiv after Amnesty accuses it of endangering civilian life

Kyiv has reacted furiously to an Amnesty International report that accuses it of using roughshod with civilians within the nation’s combat in opposition to Russia. 

In a report printed on Thursday, the humanitarian organisation claimed the Ukrainian navy has endangered civilians by inserting bases and weapons in residential areas — together with colleges and hospitals — because it has sought to repel the Russian invasion. 

“Ukraine’s tactics have violated international humanitarian law as they’ve turned civilian objects into military targets,” stated Amnesty. “The ensuing Russian strikes in populated areas have killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure.”

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounced the findings Thursday night. 

Amnesty “transfers the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim,” he stated in his day by day video handle, accusing the NGO of “attempting to grant amnesty to the terrorist state” of Russia.

“The aggression against our state is unjustified, invasive and terrorist,” Zelenskyy added.”If someone writes a report in which the victim and the aggressor are in some way put on an equal footing, if some data on the victim is analysed and the actions of the perpetrator ignored, this cannot be tolerated.”

In its report, which was based on several weeks of research in the Kharkiv, Donbas and Mykolaiv regions, Amnesty called on Ukraine’s armed forces to adhere to the law. 

“Being in a defensive place doesn’t exempt the Ukrainian navy from respecting worldwide humanitarian legislation,” said Agnès Callamard, the NGO’s secretary general.

International humanitarian law requires that all parties to a conflict should avoid locating, to the maximum extent feasible, military objectives within or near densely-populated areas. 

There are other obligations to shield civilians from harm by removing them from areas near military objectives and giving effective warning of attacks, which could affect the civilian population. 

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar, said Ukrainian soldiers were deployed in cities and populated areas to defend them from Russian attack, saying it was one endangering civilians. 

“The Russian Federation is committing the crime right here,” she said. “Ukraine is defending its land. Moscow ignores all the foundations of battle. And not like Ukraine, it doesn’t let in worldwide organisations like Amnesty.”

Researchers at Amnesty inspected strike websites, interviewed survivors, witnesses and kinfolk of victims of assaults, and carried out remote-sensing and weapons analyses between April and June of their investigation. 

They stated investigators discovered proof of Ukrainian forces launching strikes from inside residential areas in addition to basing themselves in civilian buildings in 19 cities and villages throughout the three southeastern areas. 

Dmytro Kouleba, head of Ukrainian diplomacy, stated he was “outraged” by Amnesty’s “unfair” accusations. 

According to Kouleba, their report creates “a false balance between the oppressor and the victim, between the country that is destroying hundreds and thousands of civilians, cities, territories and [a] country that is desperately defending itself.”

The report claimed that the Ukrainian navy may have positioned itself elsewhere to keep away from civilian deaths. 

“Most residential areas where soldiers located themselves were miles away from front lines and viable alternatives were available that would not have endangered civilians – such as military bases, densely-wooded areas or other structures further from residential areas,” Amnesty researchers stated. 

In the circumstances it documented, Amnesty stated it was not conscious if the Ukrainian navy had requested civilians or helped them evacuate from close by buildings, which it stated was a “feasible precaution.”

However, Amnesty identified that Ukraine had not uniformly situated navy targets in civilian areas.

In sure areas the place it claimed Russia had dedicated battle crimes – resembling Kharkiv – Amnesty didn’t discover proof of Ukrainian forces finding themselves in civilian areas. 

Russia denies allegations it has dedicated battle crimes in Ukraine.

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