Amnesty International's recent report that criticized Ukraine for putting civilians' lives at risk has been called "grossly misguided" by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Amnesty's report on Russia's war in Ukraine is grossly misguided. Claiming that forces are endangering civilians & violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas.
"Russia has been deliberately targeting civilians from the very beginning in schools, kindergartens, hospitals, theaters have been systematically destroyed by Russian strikes in Ukraine.
"Ukrainian forces are fighting to defend their country and people. How could Amnesty International's researchers overlook these facts?" a comment published on social media by the ministry said.
@Amnesty's report on Russia's war in #Ukraine is grossly misguided. Claiming that forces are endangering civilians & violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas. Russia has been deliberately targeting civilians from the very beginning in .— Estonian MFA | #StandWithUkraine (@MFAestonia) August 5, 2022
The international NGO's report "Ukraine: Ukrainian fighting tactics endanger civilians" has been widely criticized for drawing moral equivalence between the tactics of Ukrainians defending their country and the invading Russian forces.
Researchers said Ukraine has broken international humanitarian law by setting up military bases in residential areas, including schools and hospitals, and that attacks were launched from populated civilian areas.
The Ukrainian government, Amnesty International's Ukraine office, the international media and ambassadors from the U.S.A and UK criticized the report's findings.
Russia said the report proves Ukraine is using civilians as human shields. It has been quoted extensively by Kremlin-directed Russian media as a way to evidence their false claims that Russian forces are only going after military targets in Ukraine, the UK's Guardian newspaper reported.
Amnesty International has defended its findings. The report states: "Such violations in no way justify Russia's indiscriminate attacks, which have killed and injured countless civilians".
Editor: Helen Wright