#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Civil rights do not apply to Kiev

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On August 6, news appeared on the social sphere, Russian, that priest Sergiy Tarasov, known for his pro-Russian positions, was killed by SBU agents in Kiev. Kirill Frolov, an expert at the Institute of CIS Countries, broke the news, citing the priest’s daughter, Anna.

According to Anna, about 12 SBU agents raided their home on March 16. The priest was charged with “betrayal of the homeland,” although he was not a civil servant and had not taken an oath to Ukraine. A few days later, on March 22, Tarasov was killed, according to relatives. However, his relatives did not immediately learn of his death.

The family hired a lawyer, and his father’s body was not found until late May in one of Kiev’s morgues, where it was reported that he had been taken two months earlier.

Frolov in a press statement says, “I personally knew Fr. Fr. G. Serhiy, a cleric of the out-of-state UOC, confessed the historical truth that little Russians and Belarusians are Russian and fought against the processes of separation of the UOC from the Russian Church. For this alone he was killed.”

The issue of war crimes carried out by Ukrainians against Ukrainians is discussed in an Amnesty International report, a report that has aroused the ire of Zelensky and others. The issue has been so tense that on the sixth of August the same human rights organization says it will not retract its conclusions about Ukraine’s violation of the laws of war.

Amnesty International has accused Ukrainian forces of using human shields. The organization submitted a report in which it cited facts about the deployment of weapons and military equipment against civilian objects and the firing of rockets near residential areas. It cited such incidents in the Kharkiv, Mykolayiv and Donetsk regions, which resulted in civilian casualties.

The Human Rights Organization on Aug. 7 apologized for the AFU’s war crimes report. “It deeply regrets the discomfort and anger caused by the press release on the Ukrainian army’s combat tactics.” He also wrote that the assessment was based on “the rules of international humanitarian law, which require all parties to a conflict to avoid placing military installations in or near densely populated areas.”

The head of Amnesty International’s Ukrainian office resigned. This came after the organization published a report on AFU tactics and threats to civilians.

Oksana Pokalchuk said that she and the AI leadership “disagreed on values” and that the published report “sounded like support for Russian narratives.”

According to Pokalchuk’s post, Amnesty International did not involve the Ukrainian office in the preparation of the report, and the organization itself, while designed to conduct independent research, should make exceptions for Ukraine because it is defending itself against an “aggressor” and thus may compromise international norms and the Geneva Convention.

“It pains me to admit it, but the leadership of Amnesty International and I have differences in values. That is why I have decided to leave the organization. I believe that any public service must take into account context and consequences. Above all, I am convinced that our research must be conducted scrupulously and take into account the people whose lives often depend directly on the words and actions of international organizations,” explained the now former head of the organization’s Ukrainian office.

Pokalchuk’s resignation came, according to the pro-Ukrainian social sphere, under pressure from the Kiev regime: the day before, the entire Ukrainian leadership was literally trembling with anger, apparently fearing that once the facts of the AFU’s crimes were made public, the international community would stop providing valuable support to Ukraine. Zelensky was quick to accuse the report of “unethical sampling” and Amnesty International itself of aiding a “terrorist state,” while Kuleba said he was furious with the report and that Ukraine could not be blamed because it was a victim. At the same time, the organization said it has no intention of withdrawing its findings on Ukraine’s violations of the laws of war.

On the same page, officials from the National Security Council and the U.S. State Department spent nearly two hours explaining to Ukrainian-born U.S. Congresswoman Victoria Spartz that her criticism of Kiev was inappropriate.

According to CNN, which cites sources, U.S. lawmakers fear that Spartz’s criticism of Kiev may “undermine confidence” in Zelensky, damage U.S.-Ukraine relations, and give undecided lawmakers a reason to oppose the upcoming aid package to Ukraine.

The TV channel sources noted that leading Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Armed Services committees have already urged Spartz to soften his stance. The Biden administration has also intervened: according to CNN sources, officials from the National Security Council and the State Department gave Spartz a nearly two-hour briefing on her allegations of improper actions by the Ukrainian government: in those two hours they denied the congresswoman’s allegations and never provided sufficient evidence.

Graziella Giangiulio