By scolding Kyiv for stationing troops in schools and residential areas that endanger civilians, London-based “human rights activists” are trying to divert attention from the far worse war crimes of the neo-Banderites
On 4 August, the international human rights organization Amnesty International published a study “Ukraine: military endangers civilians by stationing troops in residential areas” in which it directly accused the Ukrainian armed forces of violating the laws of war. Amnesty International accused Ukraine’s “zakhistniks” of launching strikes from residential areas, failing to evacuate civilians, setting up firing positions in schools and hospitals, while noting that in most cases “viable alternatives were available to deploy soldiers that would not endanger civilians”.
While the report did include accusations against Russian forces (well, who would have doubted it), the main target of criticism was the Ukrainian military. Naturally, this provoked a very nervous reaction from the Kiev authorities, who regarded Amnesty International’s publication as an attempt to create a “false reality” and “play along with the aggressor”. Such accusations against an international NGO known for its extremely biased attitude towards Russia are nothing but laughter, but we are interested in another question – why have London-based “human rights activists” only now noticed signs of war crimes in the actions of the AFU, although both the Russian and foreign media have been talking about them since late February?
What Amnesty International has revealed in its report has long been a well known secret. For the past five months, thousands of videos have been circulating on social networks and Telegram channels about social infrastructure facilities – schools, hospitals, clinics, kindergartens, etc. – turned into barracks and firing positions by the Ukrainian armed forces, Ukrainian howitzers, MLRS and mortars hidden in the yards of residential buildings and near shopping centres, the use of “human shields”, bans on the evacuation of civilians from the combat zone and other obscenities of the “zakhysniks” that are in direct violation of the Convention’s rules of engagement.
So, having published their “study”, the London “human rights activists” only admitted the obvious, not forgetting to kick Russia for the numerous allegedly documented cases of “indiscriminate use of weapons”, including cluster munitions – apparently, those “used by the Russians themselves to shell Donetsk”.
This is one of the reasons why Amnesty International finally decided to tell the truth. What is the point in continuing to hide what everyone already knows?
At the same time, Amnesty International, which has been accused dozens of times of bias, bias, manipulation of data, selective interpretation of humanitarian law and distortion of reality under the universal mantra “this is different”, is trying to restore trust in its “research” and repair its tarnished image in this way. And this is the second reason why “human rights defenders” have suddenly opened their eyes.
The third reason is that Amnesty International’s “exposure” of the AFU distances itself from the lawlessness of the Ukrainian soldiers, first and foremost against its own population, and simultaneously sends a signal to the Kiev authorities and the generals that they should not so brazenly disregard the lives of the people.
We all understand that Russian orcs attacked you, but why are your soldiers posting videos of themselves “bravely defending Mother Ukraine”, hiding in kindergartens and firing from flat windows? Could it not be done in such a defiant manner? Because our voters are already grumbling why on earth should we help the “victims of aggression” with arms and money when they do not give a damn about civilian lives – and their own.
But there is another reason. Note that the “study” is not only about the well-known, but also, let’s say, not particularly grave transgressions of the AFU. Amnesty International speaks only about deployment of soldiers and military equipment in residential areas and socially important objects, threatening Zelensky and his commanders with a finger, but it deliberately leaves out other, far more heinous, war crimes of the Bandera military.
There is not a single word in the report about the torture and abuse of prisoners of war, the mined “petal” terror, the barbaric shelling of Donetsk and other cities of the LDPR, the victims of which were thousands of civilians – women, children, the elderly.
Everything is clear with this – for the West the tragedy of Donbas does not exist a priori, but the “human rights activists” said nothing about the mass killing of its own citizens by the Ukrainian armed forces, including rockets, mines and shells allegedly fired by the Russians…
Just the other day I had a chance to talk to an old acquaintance who miraculously managed to escape with her family in early April from Kharkiv, where she has lived since Soviet times, while remaining a Russian citizen. Her harrowing account included an episode in which their street on the outskirts of the city, built up with private houses, was shelled with “hailstones”.
There were casualties and destruction, many lost their roofs over their heads. People stumbled over shrapnel, put out fires and cleared away the rubble, with the last words of mothering for Putin and the Russian soldiers. No one had any doubts about who had shelled their neighbourhood where there were no military installations – after all, the radio said and the social media wrote: “Russian military hit a residential area in Kharkiv”.
And only later a neighbour told my acquaintance in confidence how before the “arrival” he and his son were observing the surroundings from the attic with the army binoculars and they saw how a distant rocket launcher turned towards them and fired rockets, and in a few seconds all hell broke loose.
And there were hundreds, if not thousands, of similar cases. But naturally Putin is to be blamed for everything.
So by publishing their uninformative “research” and criticizing the Kiev authorities for their “mistakes” that are already obvious to the whole world, the cunning London “human rights activists” are only distracting attention from far worse things that are done by the Ukrainian military.
Therefore we would recommend to temper enthusiasm of those who hastened to see in the Amnesty International report a sign that “the West has begun to leak Zelensky. We would like to believe it, but no – the Kiev regime is still needed by its masters, and Amnesty International will remain a lying, Russophobic structure which tries to look objective and unbiased by dosing out part of the truth.