Director of the Ukrainian office of the human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) Oksana Pokalchuk announced her dismissal the day after publication of the AI ​​report, in which human rights activists accused Ukraine of violating humanitarian law and the rules of war. About your decision Pokalchuk wrote on her Facebook page on Friday, August 5th.

“It pains me to admit it, but the management of Amnesty International and I disagreed on values. Therefore, I decided to leave the organization. I believe that any work for the benefit of society should be done taking into account the local context and thinking through the consequences,” she explained her decision.

“Everything has been smashed against a wall of bureaucracy and a dead language barrier. Unless you live in a country that has been invaded by invaders and is being torn apart, you probably don’t understand what it’s like to condemn an ​​army of defenders. And there are no words in any language, capable of conveying this to someone who has not experienced this pain,” Pokalchuk wrote.

The Ukrainian office of AI tried to convey its position to the organization

Pokalchuk admitted that until the last moment she hoped that the Ukrainian office of the organization would be able to convey her opinion to Amnesty. “Even yesterday I had a naive hope that I could fix everything. And this text will be deleted and replaced by another. Today I realized that this will not happen,” she wrote.

“In recent days,” the Ukrainian office, according to her, “actively carried out explanatory work within the organization.” “I spoke with Amnesty representatives from dozens of countries around the world so that the position of Ukraine and Ukrainians was heard. I also repeatedly spoke with top management, which, unfortunately, in the current situation did not take proper steps to protect the interests of the people the organization works for,” Pokalchuk emphasized.

In her appeal, the human rights activist said that the organization in its report had to provide the opinion of both sides and take into account the position of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. “As we have noted, Amnesty International representatives eventually approached the Ministry of Defense with a request to respond, but they gave very little time for a response,” she said. The resulting report, she said, “sounded like support for Russian narratives” and “became a tool of Russian propaganda.”

Resonance report by Amnesty International

Amnesty International published a report on 4 August titled “Ukrainian tactics of warfare endanger civilians.” In it, human rights activists stated that units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine repeatedly deployed their equipment and fired from positions in residential areas, on the territory of schools and hospitals, endangering the civilian population.

“Ukraine’s tactics violated international humanitarian law by turning civilian targets into military targets. As a result of the ensuing Russian strikes on populated areas, civilians were killed and civilian infrastructure was destroyed,” the organization said following trips to the sites of strikes and anonymous interviews with locals. residents. In general, human rights activists recorded such tactics of battle in 19 settlements of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Nikolaev regions. The organization did not publish photos or videos from the trip.

“We have documented how Ukrainian forces put civilians at risk and violate the laws of war when they operate in populated areas. Being on the defensive does not exempt the Ukrainian military from complying with international humanitarian law,” said Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Kyiv criticized the report of human rights activists

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky commenting on the report, stated that Amnesty International “is trying to amnesty the terrorist state and shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.” “There is not and cannot even hypothetically be a single condition under which any Russian strike on Ukraine becomes justified <...> If someone makes a report in which the victim and the aggressor are supposedly the same in some way, “The information about the victim, and what the aggressor was doing at that time is ignored, then this cannot be put up with,” Zelensky said.

“The report distorts reality, draws a false moral equality between aggressor and victim, and contributes to Russia’s disinformation efforts,” Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba wrote.

Advisor to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak accused international human rights activists of participating in a campaign to discredit the armed forces of Ukraine, organized by Russia, in order to stop the supply of weapons. “The only thing that poses a threat to the lives of Ukrainians is the Russian army of executioners and rapists that came to Ukraine to commit genocide. Our defenders protect their people and families,” he wrote.

British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons criticized the report. “The only thing that threatens the civilian population of Ukraine is Russian missiles, weapons and marauding troops. If Russia stopped invasion of Ukrainethere would be no danger,” she said.

Amnesty International responded to the criticism by saying that the report’s conclusions “were based on the evidence gathered from investigations that were carried out in accordance with the same strict standards and due diligence procedures as all of Amnesty International’s work.”

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