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Amnesty International’s Ukraine chief resigns after backlash for reporting

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The head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine arm resigned on Friday amid the fallout from a scathing report the human rights organization released criticizing the tactics of the Ukrainian military amid the ongoing Russian occupation.

News Direction: The report accused Ukraine of endangering its civilians and allegedly violating international law. This prompted Oksana Pokalchuk, the head of the watchdog’s Ukrainian arm, to resign, saying in a Facebook post the report had become a tool of Russian propaganda”.

What she says: “Unless you live in a country occupied by invaders who are tearing it to pieces, you probably don’t understand what it’s like to punish an army of defenders,” Pokalchuk said.

Get to know quickly: of report said Ukrainian forces exposed civilians to Russian attacks by basing themselves in residential areas, schools and hospitals.

  • The report claimed the tactics were a violation of international humanitarian law, which requires all combatants to “avoid locating, to the maximum extent possible, military objectives in or near densely populated areas.”
  • We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when operating in populated areas,” Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said in the report.
  • “Most of the residential areas where the soldiers were located were miles from the front lines and viable alternatives were available that would not endanger civilians,” the report said.

Between the lines: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the report on Thursday. Amnesty International, he said, was trying to grant amnesty to the terrorist state and shift the blame from the aggressor to the victim of aggression. Politico reported.

The other side: Both our investigations into Russian war crimes and the Ukrainian military’s tactics were conducted by the same experts from Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Programme, the organization said in a statement on Saturday. for Politico.

  • Their findings reflected the same rigorous research standards and due diligence processes that all Amnesty International work with.
  • The organization said it contacted the Ukrainian government about its findings in late July, but got no answer ahead of the report’s release this week.

Go deeper: Live Updates: Russian invasion of Ukraine

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2/ https://www.axios.com/2022/08/06/amnesty-international-ukraine-leader-resign-report

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