Ukrainian President Zelensky accused the group of shifting responsibility ‘from the aggressor to the victim’
International human rights NGO Amnesty International released a report on Thursday exposing the Ukrainian military’s illegal war tactics being used in the fight against Russia.
While Infowars, other alternative media outlets and reporters like Patrick Lancaster have been covering this reality since the war began in late February, the Amnesty International investigation provides further backing.
“Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas,” the group stated on Twitter.
⚡️ Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas.— Amnesty International (@amnesty) August 4, 2022
The Amnesty International report revealed Ukrainian forces set up military bases in residential areas including schools and hospitals, and launched attacks from populated civilian areas.
“Such violations in no way justify Russia’s indiscriminate attacks, which have killed and injured countless civilians,” the group noted.
Despite specifically stating their research doesn’t “justify” Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky issued a scathing response where he basically threatened the group.
“Today we saw an Amnesty International report that attempts to amnesty a terrorist state and shift responsibility from the aggressor to its victim,” he said.
“There cannot be, even hypothetically, any condition under which any Russian attack on Ukraine becomes justified. Aggression against our state is unprovoked, invasive and openly terroristic,” he added.
⚡️Zelensky to Amnesty International: ‘You can’t shift responsibility from aggressor to victim.’
“Today we saw an Amnesty International report that attempts to amnesty a terrorist state and shift responsibility from the aggressor to its victim,” Zelensky said.— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) August 4, 2022
The Ukrainian president continued, “If someone prepares a report in which the victim and the aggressor are allegedly the same in some way, if some data about the victim is analyzed while something the aggressor was doing at that time is ignored, this cannot be tolerated.”
Zelensky even went as far as to claim Amnesty International shares “the responsibility for the deaths” of Ukrainian citizens allegedly killed by Russian strikes.
The humanitarian group reported that Ukraine’s tactics “violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians,” by turning civilian objects into military targets.
“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”
To investigate the Russian strikes, Amnesty International interviewed survivors and witnesses of attacks in the Kharkiv, Donbas and Mykolaiv regions between April and July of this year.
Testimonies and satellite imagery were used to reveal Ukraine forces based themselves in civilian buildings in exactly 19 towns and villages in the area.
One person interviewed told investigators, “I don’t understand why our military is firing from the cities and not from the field.”
In what is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, the NGO group documented five separate hospitals in two different cities being used by the Ukrainian military for shelter and as a base where they fired at the Russians.
Amnesty International found evidence of UAF presence at 22 of 29 schools they investigated and documented at least one instance where a child was killed as a result.
The report concluded, “Many of the Russian strikes that Amnesty International documented in recent months were carried out with inherently indiscriminate weapons, including internationally banned cluster munitions, or with other explosive weapons with wide area effects.”
However, Agnès Callamard urged the Ukrainian government to “immediately ensure that it locates its forces away from populated areas, or should evacuate civilians from areas where the military is operating.”
“Militaries should never use hospitals to engage in warfare, and should only use schools or civilian homes as a last resort when there are no viable alternatives,” she added.
After the report was released, journalists, politicians and citizens loyal to the global establishment lost their collective minds.
Callamard took to Twitter to defend her organization’s investigation, writing, “Ukrainian and Russian social media mobs and trolls: they are all at it today attacking @amnesty investigations. This is called war propaganda, disinformation, misinformation. This wont dent our impartiality and wont change the facts.”
Ukrainian and Russian social media mobs and trolls: they are all at it today attacking @amnesty investigations. This is called war propaganda, disinformation, misinformation. This wont dent our impartiality and wont change the facts. https://t.co/YvMy2E3d6p— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) August 4, 2022
The report sheds light on a serious issue within the Ukraine war, but fails to highlight the fact that the Ukrainian military itself frequently shells civilian infrastructure.
The UAF bombs homes and businesses without the presence of Russian military in the areas in what appears to be an intentional assault on the people of the Donetsk region who have largely rebuked the Zelensky government.
Twitter users shared their thoughts on the Zelensky/Amnesty International beef, some slamming the president and some criticizing the organization.
Zelensky now implies that Amnesty International has now fallen under the spell of Kremlin propaganda for pointing out the obvious that Western press would not report & that is Ukrainian forces have been using civilians as shields.— Ajamu Baraka (@ajamubaraka) August 5, 2022
.@Amnesty – which strongly opposes Russia’s war – does one post on Ukraine and it is buried in vitriol and accusations of being pro-Russia. Western war propaganda now creating a deeply unhealthy political culture where truth is unwelcome and international law is seen as optional. https://t.co/BqROfuYoif— Clare Daly (@ClareDalyMEP) August 5, 2022
Cancelling Amnesty International for publishing a report I haven’t bothered to read because I’m a mainstream pundit— Matt Zarb-Cousin (@mattzarb) August 5, 2022
Pathetic. Amnesty International can go to hell for this garbage. Or go to Ukraine, which Putin’s war is trying to turn into hell. As with their actions on Navalny, it reeks of Russian influence turning Kremlin propaganda into Amnesty statements. https://t.co/KOC0S0NJOt— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) August 4, 2022
Hello, @amnesty. You are a worthless piece of shit. Ukrainian forces right now are defending our country. And they can be everywhere where they need to be.
So who put civilians in harm? russian soldiers, that invade my country or Ukrainian forces that defend it? https://t.co/EvkwsWHXNX— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) August 4, 2022
Russia has been accusing Ukraine of committing war crimes for months now, even asking the UN to investigate their claims several times.
A UN report issued last month confirmed Ukrainian forces used nursing home patients as human shields, killing and injuring many of the elderly citizens.
Perhaps the Amnesty International report will influence the UN to further investigate war crimes on both sides of the conflict.