World · August 6, 2022

The head of Ukraine of Amnesty International has resigned in protest against the “Russian propaganda” report.

The head of Amnesty International in Ukraine, Oksana Pokalchuk, resigned after the NGO released a report blaming the Ukrainian military for endangering civilians.

Kiev reacted furiously to the report accusing him of placing bases and weapons in residential areas – including schools and hospitals – as he tried to repel the Russian invasion.

“I will resign from Amnesty International in Ukraine,” Pokalchuk said in a statement on his Facebook page Friday night, accusing the report of unknowingly serving “Russian propaganda”.

“If you don’t live in a country that has been overrun by invaders and is tearing it apart, you probably don’t understand what it means to condemn an ​​army of defenders,” added the Amnesty Ukraine official.

He said he tried to convince Amnesty International’s management that the report was biased and did not take into account the views of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

On Friday, Amnesty said it was fully supported the report published on Thursday (August 4).

But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the NGO of transferring “the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim” and of “attempting to grant amnesty to the terrorist state” of Russia.

Pokalchuk said that Amnesty had approached the Ukrainian defense ministry but “had given them very little time for an answer”.

“As a result, the organization unwittingly released a report that appeared to unwittingly support the Russian version. In an effort to protect civilians, this report has instead become a Russian propaganda tool,” she complained.

In a previous Facebook post, Pokalchuk claimed that Amnesty ignored her team’s requests not to publish the report. “Yesterday I had the naive hope that everything could be fixed and that this text would be replaced by another one. But today I understood that this would not happen,” she added.

On Friday, the NGO’s secretary general, Agnès Callamard, assured that the report’s conclusions were “based on evidence obtained during extensive investigations subject to the same rigorous standards and verification process as all of Amnesty International’s work”.

In its report, released after a four-month investigation, Amnesty accused the Ukrainian military of establishing military bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from populated areas, a tactic that allegedly violated international humanitarian law.