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The NGO Amnesty International (AI) has denounced this Thursday that Ukrainian troops are carrying out combat tactics that endanger the lives of civilians and violate international humanitarian law.
As the organization explained in a statement, the Army ukrainian army it would be operating very frequently in residential areas, including hospitals and schools, while repelling the Russian invasion, thus putting the endangering civilian lives by turning civilian objects into military targets.
“We have documented a pattern in which Ukrainian forces endanger civilians. civilians and violate the laws of warwhen they operate in populated areas”, explained AI Secretary General Agnès Callamard, warning Ukraine that “being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian Army from respecting International Humanitarian Law”.
However, not all Russian attacks documented by the NGO have followed this pattern.
In other places where Amnesty International has concluded that Russia had committed war crimes, including some areas of the city of Kharkov, the organization has found no evidence that there were Ukrainian forces in the civilian areas that the Russian Army had ;has attacked illegally.
Between April and July, AI researchers spent several weeks investigating Russian attacks in the Kharkov, Donbas and Mykolaiv regions. In those places, the organization inspected the the places of attack, interviewed to survivors, witnesses and relatives, and took conducted weapons analysis.
“Throughout these investigations, investigators found evidence that Ukrainian forces launched attacks from populated residential areas and established themselves in civilian buildings in 19 towns and villages of the regions“, has detailed
Specifically, most of these were kilometres away from the front lines, so there were “viable alternatives available” that would not endanger the civilians, as AI has maintained in the brief.
Furthermore, and despite the proximity to civilian areas, the organization has claimed to have no knowledge that the Ukrainian military that were installed in civil structures Residents in residential areas have asked or helped civilians to evacuate nearby buildings, which would not have allowed all possible precautions to be taken to protect civilians.
Moreover, Amnesty International has criticized that “many of the Russian attacks” have been carried out with “inherently indiscriminate” weapons, including internationally prohibited cluster munitions.
“The Ukrainian Army's practice of locating military targets within populated areasin no way justifies indiscriminate Russian attacks. All parties to a conflict must distinguish between targets at all times. and civilian objects and take all possible precautions, including in the choice of weapons, to minimize harm to the civilian population Indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure civilians or damage property civilians are war crimes,” AI explained.
“The Ukrainian government must immediately ensure that it locates its forces away from populated areas, or it must evacuate to civilians in areas where the Army operates.Military should never use hospitals to engage in warfare, and should only use schools or civilian homes as a last resort when there is no to the viable alternatives,” Callamard said.