A global human rights watchdog accused Ukraine of using combat tactics that deliberately put civilians at risk, potential violations of international law, in a report published on Thursday.
Ukraine’s military has set up military bases and fired weapons from densely populated urban areas, effectively putting targets for the Russian military on the backs of civilians, the watchdog, Amnesty International, he said. Such tactics could amount to a violation of international law, as they require the Russian military to suffer greater collateral damage and destroy civilian infrastructure in order to strike strategic Ukrainian targets.
“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces endangering civilians and violating the laws of war when operating in populated areas,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary-general. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian army from respecting international humanitarian law.”
Russia has also violated internationally recognized humanitarian law by targeting civilians even in cases where there were no viable Ukrainian military targets, the report said.
The investigation, conducted between April and July, included inspections, interviews with survivors and participants on the battlefield, and analyzes of remote sensing and weapons, Amnesty said. Researchers identified 19 cities where Ukrainian forces based hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure near the front lines, even when viable alternatives were available.
“Amnesty International is not aware of the Ukrainian military stationed in civilian structures in residential areas asking or helping civilians to evacuate nearby buildings – a failure to take all possible precautions to protect civilians,” the report said.
Shameful victim-blaming. Russia has invaded Ukraine and is committing unspeakable war crimes there. Please don’t reinforce the Russian lies
— Paul Massaro (@apmassaro3) August 4, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky he complained the report in a statement on Thursday, saying “cynical and calculating” Russian forces singled out residential buildings and apparent non-combatant gatherings.
“They knew where they were hitting and obviously wanted people to get hurt,” Zelenskiy added.
He said he would not tolerate organizations accusing Ukraine of the same behavior exhibited by Russia, the aggressor, while ignoring the outrageous nature of Russia’s war tactics. (RELATED: Russia bombs Ukrainian ports, jeopardizes deal that could ease global food crisis)
“Whoever amnesties Russia and artificially creates such an informational framework that certain attacks by terrorists are allegedly justified or supposedly understandable, cannot help but realize that he is helping terrorists,” Zelensky said. “And if you provide manipulative reports, then you share with them the responsibility for the death of people.”
Ukraine’s parliament passed a law in February allowing civilians to bear arms and defend themselves against an imminent Russian attack. Frequent instances of civilians taking part in the fighting, including throwing Molotov cocktails at Russian infantry and reusing agricultural equipment to seize Russian armored personnel carriers, have blurred the lines between military and civilian targets.
Russia massacred civilians during failed bid to seize Kyiv earlier this spring, CBS News reports mentiontedand caused thousands of civilian deaths during the siege of Mariupol in the south.
The US assessed in March that Russia had committed war crimes in the process of waging its “unprovoked war of choice” against Ukraine. according at the State Department.
The Ukrainian foreign and defense ministries did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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