A report which was released earlier on Thursday by Amnesty International was met with heavy criticism, with Zelensky accusing the organisation of supporting terrorism in a video speech later that night.
Following Amnesty International’s criticism of the Ukrainian military for using weapons in civilian areas in breach of humanitarian law, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused the group of supporting “terrorists.”
Zelensky stated in a video speech on Thursday night that “today we saw a report by Amnesty International, which unfortunately tries to amnesty the terrorist state and shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.”
He reiterated three times that “Ukraine is a victim” and added that “anyone who doubts this is an accomplice of Russia – a terrorist country – and a terrorist themselves and a participant in the killings.” He said, “If someone makes a report that puts the aggressor and the victim on the same level, this cannot be tolerated.”
The pertinent report, which was released earlier on Thursday, included information on five incidents of Ukrainian forces utilizing hospitals as bases and 22 instances in which they launched attacks from those facilities. Amnesty claimed that it was “not aware” that Ukraine attempted to evacuate civilians before taking control of these non-military sites.
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“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas,” said Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”
Despite the fact that Amnesty has also accused Russia with violating international law in the course of its military campaign, Zelensky regime supporters attacked the organization online for spreading “Russian propaganda” in response to the report.
Dmitry Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, also reacted negatively to the study, charging Amnesty with “creating a false reality” in which “everyone is at fault for something.” He suggested that the group should instead concentrate solely on alleged Russian wrongdoing.
Callamard stood by the story despite a barrage of criticism from pro-Ukrainian social media users. She stated on Twitter, “To those who attack us alleging biases against Ukraine, I say: check our work.” “We stand by all victims. Impartially”.” On both sides of the battle, Callamard also charged that “social media mobs and trolls” were spreading “war propaganda, disinformation, [and] misinformation.”
Zelensky said in his speech that the Russian military had attacked Holocaust memorials and a prisoner of war camp in Yelenovka. Zelensky was allegedly referring to a March assault on a Holocaust memorial that struck a nearby TV tower. According to a journalist from Israel, the memorial itself was untouched.
Russia has urged the UN and Red Cross to look into the attack after alleging that Ukraine fired missiles last week at the Yelenovka prison center housing members of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment. The facility, according to Donetsk People’s Republic officials, was targeted to stop the prisoners from testifying about alleged war crimes committed by the Ukrainian government.