The NGO accusation that Ukraine violates humanitarian law is unfair, Ukraine's foreign minister said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba pushed back against an Amnesty International report that blames Kiev for placing military assets in schools and residential areas, violating humanitarian law and putting civilians at risk.
In his comments posted on social media on Thursday, the minister said that he was outraged by the NGO's claim.
I understand that Amnesty will respond to criticism by saying that they criticize both sides of the conflict. Such behavior on Amnesty's part is not about looking for the truth and presenting it to the world, but rather about creating a false balance between the criminal and his victim he said.
Kuleba urged the organization to stop creating a fake reality where everyone is at fault for something. He argued that the amnesty should focus on what Russia is doing in Ukraine and what devastation Moscow has brought upon this country.
On Thursday, Amnesty released a report accusing Kiev of a clear violation of international humanitarian law, saying it was putting civilian lives at risk by placing its military close to civilian infrastructure.
In 22 of the 29 schools visited by Amnesty between April and July, the human rights group said it found evidence of current or prior military activity. In five locations, they saw Ukrainian troops using hospitals as bases. At the same time, the group said it was not aware that Ukraine tried to evacuate civilians from the areas in question.
Amnesty also noted that no Ukrainian troops were present in some areas where Russian forces had delivered strikes on residential areas. According to the NGO, Ukraine's unlawful military use of civilian objects did not justify indiscriminate Russian attacks. According to Maria Zakharova, Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman, the NGO's report only confirmed what Moscow has known for a long time. We have been talking about this constantly and calling the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces the tactics of using civilians as a human shield, said Zakharova.