Saturday, August 6, 2022

Amnesty International covering for Putin by equating victim and aggressor

Russia-Ukraine updates: Amnesty International's Ukraine chief quits

The head of Amnesty International in Ukraine left the watchdog over claims that Ukrainian soldiers were endangering civilians. Russia's offensive in Donetsk continues with fierce fighting in Bakhmut. DW has the latest.

Oksana Pokalchuk, the director of Amnesty International's Ukraine office, quit the organization following accusations that Amnesty made against the Ukrainian army in a report.

The rights group accused the Ukrainian army of endangering civilians by using residential neighborhoods as a base for military operations in several towns following Russia's February 24 invasion.

Kyiv has reacted to the report by likening the report to Russian propaganda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Amnesty International was shifting the blame to the victim and aiding in Russia's unprovoked attack on his country.

On Friday, Pokalchuk wrote on Facebook that local Amnesty officials have consistently noted that their organization should take into account information provided by Ukraine's Ministry of Defense before issuing similar reports.

"As a result of this, unwittingly, the organization created material that sounded like support for Russian narratives. In an effort to protect civilians, this study became a tool of Russian propaganda," Pokalchuk said.

"It pains me to admit it, but we disagreed with the leadership of Amnesty International on values," she added.

"That's why I decided to leave the organization."

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