In response to a controversial report on the warfare by the Ukrainian army, the head of the Ukrainian branch of the human rights organization Amnesty International has resigned.
“Unless you live in a country invaded by occupiers who are tearing it to pieces, you probably don’t understand what it’s like to condemn an army of defenders,” Oxanna Pokalchuk wrote on Facebook on Saturday night. “Aiming to protect civilians, this study has instead become a tool of Russian propaganda.”
In a report published last Thursday, Amnesty accused the Ukrainian army of entrenching itself in residential areas and thereby unnecessarily endangering civilians. Pokaltschuk now reproached her former colleagues for not preparing the report cleanly enough.
In Kyiv there is also criticism that the focus on misconduct by the army of the attacked country is driving a perpetrator-victim reversal. Amnesty’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard called Pokalchuk’s resignation regrettable. But you respect the decision.
The organization defended its report when asked by the Russian state news agency Tass. “If we find Ukraine’s violations of international humanitarian law, as we did in this case, we will report honestly and accurately,” the statement said.