Endangering civilians: Amnesty criticizes Ukrainian army

Status: 08/05/2022 02:19 am

According to the human rights organization Amnesty, the Ukrainian army is sometimes entrenched in schools and hospitals – and is thus endangering its own population. This is “a violation of international humanitarian law”.

Amnesty International accuses the Ukrainian army of unnecessarily endangering civilians with its military tactics. The soldiers “repeatedly operated out of residential areas,” said Janine Uhlmannsiek, an expert on Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International Germany. the Human rights organizations had their own investigations into this in the war zone carried out.

The Ukrainian action is “a violation of international humanitarian law” that is not justified by the “Russian war of aggression, which violates international law”.

Military posts in schools and hospitals

Amnesty experts said they found evidence in the regions around Mykolayiv in southern Ukraine and around Kharkiv and Donbass in eastern Ukraine between April and June that Ukrainian armed forces fired from residential areas and military posts in 19 towns and cities, among other things set up in schools and hospitals.

Amnesty Secretary-General Agnès Callamard said it had documented a pattern by the Ukrainian army of endangering civilians and violating martial law. Amnesty quoted a local resident as saying: “We are not allowed to have a say in the decisions of the military, but we are paying the price.”

However, Russia must not bomb hospitals

However, the organization also made it clear that the Ukrainian defense tactics “in no way” justify the “many indiscriminate strikes by the Russian military with civilian casualties”. The human rights organization described Russia’s attacks as “war crimes”.

However, the fact that Ukraine is defending itself against the Russian war of aggression does not relieve the country’s military “from its obligation to comply with international law,” the organization emphasized.

Alternative locations

According to the Amnesty report, most documented residential operations had possible alternative locations, such as military bases or densely forested areas. In addition, the soldiers did not order the evacuation of civilians, even though they were at risk of being hit by retaliatory Russian attacks.

According to its own statements, Amnesty asked the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on July 29 for a statement on the allegations. However, no response had been received as of the publication of the communication today.

Kyiv calls allegations “unfair”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has strongly denied Amnesty International’s allegations. The human rights group is trying to “shift the responsibility from the attacker to the victim,” he says during his evening video address. “Anyone who amnesties Russia and artificially creates an information context in which some terrorist attacks are allegedly justified or understandable should not overlook the fact that they are thereby helping the terrorists. And when such manipulative reports emerge, then they share responsibility for the killing of people.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also expressed “outrage” at the “unfair” allegations. Kuleba accused Amnesty on his Facebook page of “creating a false balance between oppressors and victims, between the country that is destroying thousands of civilians, cities and territories, and the country that is desperately defending itself”.

Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podoliak stressed that the Ukrainian army is taking all measures to save lives and bring civilians to safe areas. “The only thing threatening Ukrainians is the Russian army,” he wrote on Twitter.

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