Ukraine Amnesty Office Head Leaves After Group Accuses Kyiv

A member of Ukraine’s National Guard jumps into a trench at a position near the front line, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, August 3, 2022. REUTERS/Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy /File photo

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Kyiv, Aug 6 (Reuters) – The head of Amnesty International’s Ukrainian section is leaving the human rights body after the group accused the Ukrainian armed forces of endangering civilians by posting troops in residential areas during the invasion. Russian.

Amnesty made the comments Thursday, and Kyiv compared them to Russian propaganda and disinformation. read more

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused the group of being complicit in what he called unprovoked Russian attacks on Ukraine. The human rights group, he said, was trying to shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.

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Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty’s national leader, said on Facebook late Friday that the Ukrainian office has consistently pointed out that the information Amnesty issued on Thursday should take into account the position of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

“As a result of this, the organization unknowingly created material that sounded supportive of the Russian narratives. In an effort to protect civilians, this study became a Russian propaganda tool,” Pokalchuk said.

“It pains me to admit, but we disagreed with Amnesty International’s direction on values. That is why I decided to leave the organization,” he added.

Ukrainian officials have said they are taking all possible measures to evacuate civilians from frontline areas. Russia denies targeting civilians in what it describes as a “special military operation.”

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Information from Pavel Polityuk; Edited by Kim Coghill

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