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Amnesty International’s top official in Ukraine resigns after report reveals army is operating in residential areas

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The top official at Amnesty International’s office in Ukraine announced on Friday that she was stepping down after the organization released a report alleging that some of Kiev’s military deployed to residential areas.

It pains me to admit it, but Amnesty International’s leadership and I parted ways in a valuable way. So I decided to leave the organization, Oksana Pokalchuk wrote on Facebook.

Amnesty International the report released on Thursday said the Ukrainian military had set up operations inside schools and hospitals and had launched attacks while in the vicinity of residential homes. The report said this evidence came from Amnesty International researchers who conducted interviews, looked at attack sites and analyzed weapons in three regions of Ukraine between April and July.

The report noted that Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not respond to the organizations’ request for comment by the time of publication of the reports, which initially reached July 29.

We, on the part of the Ukrainian office, have repeatedly emphasized that the press release, which the organization issued on August 4, should investigate at least two parties and take into account the position of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Pokalchuk wrote.

As we have noted, Amnesty International representatives eventually approached the Ministry of Defense asking for a response, but were given very little time to respond, she wrote. As a result, albeit unwillingly, the organization produced material that appeared to support Russian narratives. Seeking to protect civilians, this study has become a tool of Russian propaganda.

She said she had contacted Amnesty International officials in other countries to confirm Ukraine’s position on the issue and said her team carried out clarification work following the report.

I have spoken repeatedly with senior management, which unfortunately in this situation has not taken the appropriate steps to protect the interests of the people for whom the organization works and the entire human rights movement. In addition to the lack of proper response, the great initiative of activists of people outraged by this communique has been ignored, she said.

The statement comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dragged on for months since early February, as Moscow seeks to launch sustained offensives in the east and south.

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2/ https://thehill.com/policy/international/3591076-top-ukraine-amnesty-international-official-resigns-after-report-finds-military-operated-in-residential-areas/

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