Amnesty International regrets the “anger” provoked by a report on Ukraine

Amnesty International said on Sunday it regretted the “anger” sparked by an NGO report accusing the Ukrainian armed forces of endangering civilians, again maintaining its conclusions which angered kyiv. The publication of the report had also led to the resignation of the head of Amnesty International in Ukraine, Oksana Pokaltchouk, accusing the report published on August 4 of having unwittingly served “Russian propaganda”.

President Volodymyr Zelensky had gone so far as to accuse the NGO of “attempting to grant amnesty to the Russian terrorist state”, by putting “the victim and the aggressor in a certain way on an equal footing”. “Amnesty International deeply regrets the dismay and anger that our press release on combat tactics in the Ukrainian army has caused,” the NGO said on Sunday.

“Ensure that civilians are protected”

She recalls that her priority “in this conflict as in any other, is to ensure that civilians are protected”. “That was our sole purpose when we released this latest research report,” Amnesty continues, “while we fully stand by our findings, we regret the pain caused.”

In its report after a four-month investigation, Amnesty accused the Ukrainian military of establishing military bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from populated areas, a tactic it said violates the international humanitarian law. “The laws of war exist in part to protect civilians, and it is for this reason that Amnesty International urges governments to respect them,” the NGO continued.

“Russia is solely responsible for the violations it committed against Ukrainian civilians”

“This does not mean that Amnesty International holds the Ukrainian forces responsible for the violations committed by the Russian forces, nor that the Ukrainian army does not take the necessary precautions elsewhere in the country”, continues the NGO, “nothing of this that we have documented on the actions of the Ukrainian forces does not in any way justify the violations committed by the Russians”.

“Russia bears sole responsibility for the violations it has committed against Ukrainian civilians,” Amnesty insists, saying its priority “will always be to ensure that the lives and fundamental rights of civilians are protected during conflicts.”

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