Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Amnesty International on Thursday evening of trying to tolerate Russian “state terrorism”, after the NGO said Kyiv was endangering civilians in the course of the war with Moscow.
Zelensky considered that Amnesty International “transfers responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.” Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had expressed his “anger” at the “unfair” accusations made by the organization.
In a report released Thursday after a four-month investigation, Amnesty International accused the Ukrainian military of endangering civilian lives by setting up military bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from populated areas to repel Russian forces.
The organization considered that such tactics violate international humanitarian law.
In his daily video message, Zelensky considered that “the aggression against our state is unjustified, it is an invasion and terrorism. If someone prepares a report in which he somehow equates the victim with the aggressor, and if some of the data on the victim is analyzed and the actions of the aggressor are ignored, this is intolerable.”
Kuleba had accused Amnesty of equating the aggressor and the victim, between a country that kills civilians and destroys cities and lands and a country that defends itself.
Kuleba called on Amnesty International to “stop” holding everyone accountable, and to systematically report on what Russia currently represents.
In its report, Amnesty International condemned these Ukrainian tactics, but stressed that they “in no way justify indiscriminate Russian attacks” targeting the civilian population.