October 6, 2022

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Amnesty International report on Ukraine: Why the accusation of using civilians as a shield does not stand up :: Blog on Today



AI He is dealing with very harsh, almost unanimous, reactions to his “report”, on August 4, about alleged Ukrainian military tactics that would endanger the population. Accusation (withheld) using i civilians As human shields, he set up military posts in apartment buildings, schools and hospitals, angering the president ZelenskyAccording to the human rights organization, not a word was spent between August 6 and 7, after direct iron and fire at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, endangering the entire European continent.


On Sunday 7 August, Amnesty again defended the report, expressing “regret for causing pain, anger and suffering”. Meanwhile, the director of the Ukrainian organization Oksana Pokalchuk resigned: “If you do not live in a country occupied by invaders who are tearing it apart, you probably do not understand the meaning of condemning an army of defenders,” he commented.


On the Russian side, there was a lot of praise for AI. It was reported on TV in Moscow that “according to Amnesty International, the Ukrainian armed forces are doing what we have been talking about for a long time,” and in fact in these five months of the war, every time the Russian forces committed massacres, they justified themselves by claiming that they had targeted military objectives. If also true, then it would mean accepting indiscriminate strikes, in a non-targeted manner, even with the infamous cluster bombs prohibited by the laws of war.


unanimous criticism


Amnesty’s accusations against the Ukrainian military have been commented on by several experts and several newspapers, with near unanimous condemnation. For the philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, it is “like accusing the French Resistance of having fought in the streets of Paris in August 1944. It is a mixture of stupidity and irony. It means playing Putin’s game.” Corriere’s war correspondent Lorenzo Cremonese, who spent much time in Ukraine during this war, wrote an editorial on August 7 with the very clear headline: “Amnesty was wrong about Ukraine.” Journalist Cristiano Tenazi, who has also lived in Ukraine for a long time in recent months, wrote a Twitter thread to explain the errors in the Amnesty International statement. But perhaps the most brutal editorial for the prestigious Times: “The Times’ View of Amnesty International’s Ukraine Report: Putin’s Advocates.”

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Amnesty International did not consider the context of a war that does not take place in the open countryside. Since February 24, the Russians have been targeting towns and villages. We learned the names of Mariupol, Erbin and Bucha: cities with a population of 100,000-500,000 people. Urban spaces with houses and streets. Can Ukraine defend the Russian-conquered Mariupol in the countryside? Obviously not. Whatever has been verified by AI (unverifiable quotes from ordinary people are mentioned in the available press release), context must not be forgotten.


At the same time, contrary to what was stated in Amnesty International’s statement, Ukraine has been doing everything possible since the beginning of the war to evacuate as many civilians as possible. Unfortunately, security conditions do not allow for large numbers. Between August 5 and 6, for example, 601 were evacuated from the Donetsk region. Sometimes these evacuations are real missions that are very dangerous by the special departments of the armed forces. In the past, attempts were made above all to agree (also with Turkish mediation) on humanitarian corridors, which were not always successful. We said, in this newspaper, a leak of a woman from Kherson and what happened to the next convoy (they were shot and forced to turn back). How can we forget the Russian missiles on Kramatorsk station on crowded civilians waiting for a train to escape?


Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security (Spravdy) conducted a comprehensive investigation, which concluded that the organization used testimonies from people who were in the “liquidation” camps and prisons of the occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk. Spravdi wrote on Telegram that the interviews could therefore have been conducted “under clear pressure from the security forces of the Russian Federation”. And again, “sometimes this conversation was the only possibility (for the displaced) to pass the filter and leave the borders of the occupied territories.” Thus, the interviews will not represent a true and honest point of view, but only a view that is “appropriate” to the circumstances.

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There is no difference between the persecutor and the victim


The AI ​​statement does not differentiate between the persecutor and the victim, between the invader and the conqueror, between the aggressor and the attacker. No Ukrainian army would need to shoot, hide in trenches, and conscript, if another free and independent Ukraine did not invade. So Amnesty International has shouldered heavy responsibilities. First of all, submit inaccurate complaints, without providing supporting documents. Hence presenting its side to Russian propaganda, which has already begun to use the organization’s report to its advantage. Finally, to take the situation out of context, and to bring to Ukraine the very serious accusation of using civilians as human shields without (and cannot be) concrete evidence of this.




Thus Amnesty’s past accusations against Russia lose their value and a prestigious newspaper such as The Times can claim that the report is the fruit of Putinist propaganda.