Amnesty International Claims that Ukrainian Armed Forces are Using Human Shields 

In a report published on August 4, 2022, Amnesty International claimed that Ukrainian armed forces are using civilians as de facto human shields. 

Per the Amnesty International report, investigators discoveredevidence of Ukrainian forces launching strikes from within populated residential areas, as well as basing themselves in civilian buildings in 19 towns and villages” in three regions heavily impacted by the war from April to July. 

In the report, hospitals and schools, in addition to everyday people’s homes, were used for military purposes, which as Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge noted, suggests that “‘human shields’ type tactics [were] utilized by the Ukrainian military.”

“Such tactics violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians, as they turn civilian objects into military targets. The ensuing Russian strikes in populated areas have killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure,” Amnesty International stated. The Ukrainian armed forces’ alleged use of human shields largely resulted in Russian attacks on the aforementioned civilian infrastructure. 

Furthermore, the report called attention to visits Amnesty International staff made from April to July where they discovered that 22 of the 29 schools they inspected had evidence of previous military activity. On top of that, the Amnesty investigators discovered five cases of Ukrainian troops using hospitals as bases. 

Secretary General of Amnesty International Agnès Callamard made the following statement when the report was released:

“Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”

Unsurprisingly, Amnesty International was resoundingly criticized by leaders in the Collective West and Ukraine. Some Western analysts have accused Amnesty International of being “Putin sympathizers.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba sharply criticized the Amnesty report, declaring, “I understand that Amnesty will respond to criticism by saying that they criticize both sides of the conflict. But such behavior on Amnesty’s part is not about looking for the truth and presenting it to the world, but about creating a false balance between the criminal and his victim.”

Other pundits declared that this report was the equivalent of  “victim-blaming.”

On Russia’s part, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova maintained that  “We’ve been talking about this constantly, calling the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces the tactics of using civilians as a ‘human shield’.”

War is a nasty enterprise. Often there are no good sides to a conflict. The Russo-Ukrainian conflict is no different. The latest Amnesty International report shows the lengths the Ukrainian government will go to stay alive in a conflict that it is bound to lose. 

Moreover, Amnesty International’s unflattering report is another sign that the West is gradually growing tired of supporting Ukraine and is becoming increasingly prepared to throw it under the bus as economic and social issues take precedence in many Western countries. With it being marked by rampant corruption and taking extreme measures such as banning opposition parties, Ukraine is no advanced liberal democracy. It’s a corrupt, street-walker state that should not have a single $.01 of American taxpayer dollars sent to it. 

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