Head of Ukraine’s Amnesty Office leaves Kyiv after group charges

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KYIV (Reuters) – The head of the Ukrainian branch of Amnesty International is leaving the human rights body after the group accused Ukraine’s armed forces of endangering civilians by deploying troops in residential areas during the Russian invasion.

Amnesty made the remarks on Thursday and Kyiv compared it to Russian propaganda and propaganda.

President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the group of inciting Russia’s unprovoked attacks on Ukraine. He said the human rights group was trying to shift responsibility from the attacker to the victim.

National Amnesty leader Oksana Poklchuk said on Facebook late Friday that the Ukrainian office has consistently noted that the information released by Amnesty on Thursday should take into account the position of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

“As a result, inadvertently, the organization created material that sounded like an endorsement of Russian fiction. In an effort to protect civilians, the study became a tool of Russian propaganda,” Poklchuk said.

“I’m sorry to admit this, but we disagreed with Amnesty International’s leadership on values. That’s why I decided to leave the organization,” he said.

Ukrainian authorities have said they are taking all possible measures to evacuate civilians from the border areas. Russia denies targeting civilians in what it describes as a “special military operation”.

(Reporting by Pavel Polituk; Editing by Kim Coghill)