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It’s important to recall that the Ukrainian Army is a citizen army of volunteers and draftees. And, that Russia invaded Ukraine, so this is about defense of home against invading Russian troops. The war remains on Ukrainian soil (and water), and Russia has besieged Ukrainian cities. The Russian military attacked those trying to evacuate, so that many felt unsafe to evacuate.

Matthias Boelinger DW correspondent responds to the Amnesty International report:
DW’s Ana Shorter:
Now you’ve been covering the war in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion based on our experience how accurate are the reports findings?
Mathias Boelinger: “So the fact that uh Ukrainian troops are in the cities in the city same cities of course that where civilians live that’s not a secret um everybody knows that and I have also seen um troops being in in public buildings in buildings that used to be uh used to civilian purposes before the war um so this is definitely happening and it’s definitely happening that uh close to these areas uh shells go down that people suspect that they were aimed at these specific facilities.

But there are several flaws in this report: First of all of course we’ve asked the same question actually to military commanders to civilian administrative personnel politicians in Ukraine and what we heard was “how do you protect the city um the Russians are trying to take these cities and we need to defend them so how do you defend the city without being in the city” and that’s something of course Amnesty’s military advice might not be very adequate on you cannot defend the city by hosting your troops in the forest nearby and the Ukrainian army pretty much fears open field battles because they say they don’t have the capacity to meet Russians in the open field that would be a very dangerous tactics for for the soldiers and lead to many casualties among the soldiers um so in order to protect the cities they need to be in there. I’ve also also said that um when talking specifically about buildings like schools or or or whatever. It was at that specific time that they always evacuate these buildings they’re not hosting the soldiers in the same facility where civilians are and uh that there is often no alternative because these are the only sturdy buildings but the biggest um flaw of this report is that they accuse Ukraine of not doing enough to protect the civilians by evacuating them now that’s outrightly false because Ukraine has started a huge evacuation mission from the Donbas in April they’ve asked every civilian to leave the region and they’ve also offered transport and evacuation trains buses etc and these have been running until the last moment they have been attacked by the Russians if you remember the attack on Kramatorsk so um this is outrightly false and they do not even mention these efforts um so definitely as a problem of this report.” From the video transcript: “Amnesty International accuses Ukraine of endangering civilianshttps://youtu.be/Llm39sMaqQs Mathias Boelinger starts at approximately 3 minutes into the video.

The person trying to justify the Amnesty report, who is interviewed by DW news: Donatella Rovera is Amnesty International’s senior crisis response advisor. She was born in Italy to an Argentine father and a Roma-Romanian mother. She grew up in France and studied in the UK. https://web.archive.org/web/20210411031031/https://www.amnesty-international.be/donatella-rovera

Amnesty International scandal: Ukraine office head resigns
05.08.2022 23:22 https://www.ukrinform.net

Amnesty International Ukraine Head Oksana Pokalchuk has decided to leave her post due to scandal over Amnesty International’s statement about the Ukrainian Army’s actions in the war with Russia.

The relevant statement was made by Amnesty International Ukraine Head Oksana Pokalchuk on Facebook, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“It is painful to admit but I and the leadership of Amnesty International have split over values. Hence, I decided to leave the organization. I believe any work for the good of society should be done taking into account the local context and thinking through consequences. Most importantly, I am convinced that our surveys should be made thoroughly and with people in mind, whose lives often depend directly on the words and actions of international organizations,” Pokalchuk wrote.

In her words, the Ukrainian office tried to convey information about the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine to the leadership of Amnesty International.

“Even yesterday, I had a naïve hope that I would be able to fix everything. That we would hold even 200 meetings but explain, reach out and convey our opinion. And that text would be deleted, and another one would appear in its place. Today I have realized this will not happen,” Pokalchuk noted.

In her words, the press release issued by Amnesty International on August 4, 2022, should have considered two parties and taken into account the position of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Amnesty International asked the ministry for a commentary but provided very little time to respond. Hence, the organization created material that sounded as support for Russian narratives. Seeking to protect civilians, that survey became an instrument of Russian propaganda instead. mkhttps://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/3544545-amnesty-international-scandal-ukraine-office-head-resigns.html