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The head of the Ukrainian section of the NGO Amnesty International, Oksana Pokalchuk, has announced her resignation in protest over a controversial report in which the organization accuses Ukrainian forces of endangering the lives of the country’s civilians in their campaign to repel Russian aggression; a document that Amnesty has defended despite criticism from the Ukrainian government.
“I left Amnesty International in Ukraine. This is another loss that cost me the war,” Pokalchuk let it be known in a Facebook post where he regrets, above all, that the organization did not include a detailed opinion of the Ukrainian government in the drafting of the report.
“Amnesty International representatives went to the Ministry of Defense to ask for a reaction, but they gave very little time to respond,” he explains.
“As a result of this, albeit reluctantly, the organization put together material that appeared to support Russian narratives. In an attempt to protect civilians, this study has ended up becoming a Russian propaganda tool,” he lamented.
In its brief, AI criticized the Ukrainian Armed Forces for “establishing bases and operating weapons systems in civilian-inhabited areas,” including educational and health facilities, with the aim of repelling the Russian offensive.
This accusation was quickly countered by the Ukrainian authorities, who denied committing such actions and criticized the NGO for attempting to equate Russia’s attacks with its defense operations. However, AI has reaffirmed this Friday its words.
“The Ukrainian authorities have denied these allegations, but Amnesty International has direct testimonies that support its research and field work that has been beyond doubt since the beginning of the conflict,” the organization’s delegation for Spain said in a statement.