The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Amnesty International Attacked for Calling out Ukrainian Military

Aug 15, 2022

The human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, issued a statement in August that when the Ukrainian military turns Ukrainian schools, hospitals and civilian neighborhoods into new military bases, they must immediately help ordinary people evacuate and relocate to a safer area.

Amnesty International has issued multiple reports on Russian military war crimes. But just one report on Ukrainian civilians being harmed by lack of action on the part of the Ukrainian military has led to international condemnation.

President Zelensky has called for international pressure on Amnesty International. The Amnesty Director in Ukraine, Oksana Pokalchuk, resigned in protest of this report that was issued by the Secretary General of Amnesty International. She chose to support President Zelensky and not to support ordinary people caught in the crossfire.

According to the report, so far this year, the Ukrainian military has operated out of civilian buildings in at least 19 towns and villages. One Ukrainian whose home was damaged in a Russian missile strike said to an Amnesty International investigator, "We have no say in what the military does, but we pay the price." According to one resident of the eastern city of Lysychansk, "Everywhere the Ukrainian military settle is bombed and everything is destroyed."

This investigation found ordinary people in need of help were NOT being evacuated by the Ukrainian military. In general, Ukrainian President Zelensky has given orders for all civilians to evacuate combat zones, but concretely, how is a paralyzed person or a poor person supposed to do that?

Amnesty investigators could find zero examples of the Ukrainian military helping ordinary people evacuate when the military took over hospitals, residential neighborhoods and schools.

Amnesty International is not the only organization documenting brutal disregard for civilian life by the Ukrainian government. A separate United Nations investigation from earlier this year reported how a nursing home for the handicapped was taken over by the military. Residents were not helped to evacuate. In fact, the Ukrainian military placed land mines all around the nursing home and this prevented evacuation. Some handicapped residents may have been killed.

Billions of dollars from the West are being poured into funding the war in Ukraine. The money is there to evacuate civilians if that were ever the priority in any war.