The head of Amnesty’s Ukrainian office leaves after the group accuses Kyiv

A member of the Ukrainian National Guard jumps into a ditch near the front line as Russia attacks Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine August 3, 2022 REUTERS / Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy / File Photo

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Kyiv, August 6 (Reuters) – The head of the Ukrainian branch of Amnesty International leaves the human rights body after the group accused Ukrainian armed forces of endangering civilians by stationing troops in residential neighborhoods during the Russian invasion.

Amnesty made comments on Thursday, and Kyiv compared them to Russian propaganda and disinformation. read more

President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the group of inciting what he called Russia’s unprovoked attacks on Ukraine. He said the human rights group was trying to shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.

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Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty’s national leader, told Facebook at the end of Friday that the Ukrainian bureau has consistently noted that the information Amnesty released on Thursday should take into account the position of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

“As a result, unknowingly, the organization produced materials that sounded like support for Russian narratives. In order to protect civilians, the survey has become a tool of Russian propaganda, ”said Pokalchuk.

“It pains me to admit it, but we disagreed with Amnesty International’s leadership on values. That’s why I decided to leave the organization, ”she added.

Ukrainian officials said they were taking all possible steps to evacuate civilians from the front lines. Russia denies targeting civilians as part of what it calls “special military operation.”

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Reporting by Pavel Politiuk; Edited by Kim Coghill

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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