The head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine section resigned on Friday after the human rights organization published a report claiming that Ukrainian forces were endangering civilians by basing themselves in populated areas.
In a Friday night Facebook postOksana Pokalchuk accused Amnesty International of not having acknowledge the realities of the war in Ukraine and ignore the advice of staff members, who urged the group to revise its report.
“It’s painful to admit, but I and the leadership of Amnesty International are divided on values,” Pokalchuk wrote. “I believe that any work done for the good of society must take into account the local context and think about the consequences. »
The reportwhich drew the ire of senior Ukrainian officials and Western specialists in international and military lawalleged that Ukrainian forces violated international humanitarian law by setting up bases and operating weapon systems in schools, hospitals and other populated areas.
“We have documented a tendency for Ukrainian forces to endanger civilians and violate the laws of war when operating in populated areas,” said Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, in the report. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian army from respecting international humanitarian law.
Pokalchuk claimed that because the Ukrainian Defense Ministry had not had enough time to respond to the findings, the report became a “Russian propaganda tool”. Russian forces defended attacks in civilian areas by suggesting that Ukrainian fighters set up firing positions at targeted locations.
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►The Ukrainian military has fortified its positions around the eastern city of Sloviansk, expecting another Russian attempt to seize the strategic point in the bitterly disputed region of Donetsk.
►The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said Friday in an assessment that Russian forces transferred personnel and equipment from the Donbass region to southern Ukraine to repel a Ukrainian counter-offensive around the occupied port city of Kherson.
Russia launches assault on two towns in eastern Ukraine
Russian forces on Saturday launched an assault on Bakhmut and Avdiivka, two towns in the eastern region of Donetsk, and continued rocket fire and shelling of other Ukrainian towns, including one near the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Europe, Ukrainian military and local officials said.
Russian shelling killed five civilians and injured 14 others in the Donetsk region, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram on Saturday. The governor of the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said three civilians were injured after Russian rockets fell on a residential area of Nikopol.
– The Associated Press
Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of attacking a power plant
Russia and Ukraine accused each other on Friday of bombing the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest of its kind in Europe.
The Ukrainian nuclear electricity company, Energoatom, said in a statement on Friday that Russian forces fired on the factory and “created a humanitarian catastrophe in the city”. President Volodymyr Zelensky also blamed Russia in his Friday evening speechsuggesting that the attack should be cause to increase sanctions against the country.
“This is the largest nuclear power plant on our continent. And any bombing of this facility is an open and shameless crime, an act of terror,” Zelenskyy said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the attack was the work of Ukraine.
“Fortunately, the Ukrainian shells did not hit the nearby oil and fuel facility and oxygen plant, thus preventing a larger fire and a possible radiological accident,” a ministry statement said. according to Reuters.
NATO:Senate ratifies NATO membership of Finland and Sweden amid Russian invasion of Ukraine
The war is approaching a “new phase”, according to the British Ministry of Defense
The The British Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that Russia’s war in Ukraine is approaching a “new phase” as heavy fighting moves parallel to the Dnieper River between Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
The ministry said Russian forces moved southwest away from the Donbass region “almost certainly” in anticipation of a counter-offensive or possible assault from Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces have targeted bridges, ammunition depots and railroad links with “increasing frequency” in areas of southern Ukraine in an attempt to disrupt Russian logistical supplies, the ministry said.
Ukrainian grain shipments offer hope and solve food crisis
A ship bringing corn to the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon would normally make no noise, but this one came from the Ukrainian port of Odessa on the Black Sea.
The Razoni, laden with more than 26,000 tonnes of maize for chicken feed, emerged from the edges of war which has threatened food supplies in Lebanon, which has the highest food inflation rate in the world – a staggering 122% – and depends on the Black Maritime Region for almost all of its wheat.
The fighting has trapped 20 million tonnes of grain inside Ukraine, and the departure of the Razoni on Monday marked a major first step towards extracting those food supplies and getting them to farms and bakeries to feed millions of poor people who suffer from hunger in Africa, in the Middle East. and parts of Asia.
“Actually, seeing the movement of the shipment is a big deal,” said Jonathan Haines, principal analyst at data and analytics firm Gro Intelligence. “These 26,000 tons on the scale of the 20 million tons that are locked up are nothing, absolutely nothing… but if we start to see that, every shipment that is going to increase confidence.”
Contribute: The Associated Press