The head of Ukraine’s Amnesty International branch quit on Friday after the human rights organization released a report alleging that Ukrainian forces have harmed civilians by basing themselves in populated areas.
In a Facebook post made Friday nightOksana Pokalchuk accused Amnesty International of failing to do so acknowledges the realities of war in Ukraine and ignores the advice of local staff who urged the group to revise its report.
“It is painful to admit, but I and the leadership of Amnesty International are divided over values,” Pokalchuk wrote. “I believe that any work done for the benefit of society should take into account the local context and think through the consequences.”
That reportwhich aroused the anger of top Ukrainian officials and Western scholars of international and military lawalleged that Ukrainian forces violated international humanitarian law by setting up bases and operating weapons systems in schools, hospitals and other populated areas.
“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when operating in populated areas,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, said in the report. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”
Pokalchuk argued that because Ukraine’s Defense Ministry was not given sufficient time to respond to the report’s findings, the report had become a “tool of Russian propaganda.” Russian forces have justified attacks in civilian areas by suggesting that Ukrainian fighters had set up firing positions in the targeted locations.
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►Ukrainian military personnel are fortifying their positions around the eastern city of Sloviansk in anticipation of a fresh Russian attempt to seize the strategic point in the hotly contested Donetsk region.
►The Institute for the Study of War, a think tank based in Washington, said in a Friday assessment that Russian forces had increasingly transferred personnel and equipment from the Donbas towards southern Ukraine to push back a Ukrainian counter-offensive around the occupied port city of Kherson.
Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of power plant attacks
Russia and Ukraine on Friday blamed each other for a shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest of its kind in Europe.
Ukraine’s state nuclear power company, Energoatom, said in a statement Friday that Russian forces fired on the facility and “created a humanitarian disaster in the city.” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his evening speech on Friday also blamed Russia, suggesting that the attack should be cause to increase sanctions against the country.
“This is the largest nuclear power plant on our continent. And any shelling of this facility is an open, brazen crime, an act of terrorism,” Zelenskyy said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that the attack was the fault of Ukraine.
“Fortunately, the Ukrainian shells did not hit the oil and fuel facility and the oxygen facility nearby, thus avoiding a major fire and a possible radiation accident,” the ministry said in a statement. according to Reuters.
War is approaching ‘new phase’, says British Ministry of Defence
That This was announced by the British Ministry of Defense on Saturday that Russia’s war in Ukraine is approaching a “new phase” as heavy fighting shifts to parallel the Dnieper River between Zaporizhzhya and Kherson.
The ministry said Russian forces are moving southwest, away from Ukraine’s Donbas region, “almost certainly” in anticipation of a counteroffensive or possible attack by Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces have zeroed in on their targeting of bridges, ammunition depots and rail links with “increasing frequency” in the southern regions of Ukraine, the ministry said.
Ukraine grain shipments give hope, food crisis fix
A ship bringing corn to Lebanon’s northern port of Tripoli would not normally cause a stir. But it’s getting attention because of where it came from: Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa.
Loaded with more than 26,000 tons of corn for chicken feed, Razoni emerges from the brink of a Russian war that has threatened food supplies in countries such as Lebanon, which has the world’s highest food inflation rate – a staggering 122% – and depends on the Black Sea region for nearly all his wheat.
The fighting has trapped 20 million tons of grain inside Ukraine, and Razoni’s departure on Monday marked a first major step toward extracting those food supplies and getting them to farms and bakeries to feed millions of poor people going hungry in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.
“It’s actually a big thing to see shipping move,” said Jonathan Haines, senior analyst at data and analytics firm Gro Intelligence. “This 26,000 tons to the extent of the 20 million tons that are locked up is nothing, absolutely nothing … but if we start to see this, every shipment that goes will increase confidence.”
Featured: Associated Press