Preventive amnesty of Ukraine will be costly

The enemy is too nefarious, and there’s no time now to be sentimental or foolishly objective. Whatever helps Ukraine win the war becomes the truth. Or is it so? 

Recently released report by Amnesty International on hazardous practices of warfare utilized by the Ukrainian army has caused a public uproar in this country, while the essence of objections was not to accuse the universally recognized organization in a pro-Russian slander, but to blame it for the fact, that it had no right to say something like that about Ukraine which the aggressor using all the means available (although such methods have been eliciting condemnations in other war conflicts in the world). Thus, A. Reznikov, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine posted on his Facebook page, that the content of the Amnesty International Report “testifies to the loss of adequacy” and was “an attempt to equalize the Russian aggression and the Ukrainan self-defense”. Mr. Kuleba, the Head of the Ministry for Exterior, as well as major politicians like Yulia Timoshenko have expressed themselves in the same spirit.

Let experts of this organization collect compelling evidence of placement of the military in schools and other sites of social infrastructures thus turning them into military targets. Let previous public executions and mistreating prisoners made public before. Let extrajudicial reprisal against those suspected in collaborationism look abominable. But even to speak of all that means bringing grist to the mill of that existential enemy of the democracy, freedom and all the mankind, such as Russia. By the way, all the above listed deeds have, at one point or another, been rejected by the Ukrainian officials. We should note the stand of the Ukrainian branch of Amnesty International, who said they were against publishing this report, and that they had not been involved in the report drafting. The enemy is too nefarious, and there’s no time now to be sentimental or foolishly objective, — whatever helps Ukraine win the war becomes the truth. 

Overall, many Ukraine’s allies in the West share the same attitude. The AI report is not an unexpected demarche. The organization continues policy of objective coverage of the conflict, pinpointing war crimes of both sides. Previous reports by Amnesty International have also been quite critical. The present one’s only difference is that it is the first since the full-scale invasion. Possibly, here in Ukraine the invasion was taken as an indulgence for any unconventional methods of warfare. 

Obviously, the Ukrainian lobby is strong, therefore, this report will most likely remain as another yearly document. For the same reason, the Swedish TV channel, for instance, had to make excuses for the work of its journalists, who had shown the people of Kherson rejoicing in getting the Russian passports, while the footage from recently shelled downtown of Donetsk on Spanish TV were accompanied by the text that it was done by the Russian army. Speaking of the fact that a great number of people in the South-Eastern region are calmly perceiving the occupation, while the Ukrainian army can commit despicable acts means to support the Russian narrative, which in Ukraine, actually, is becoming to be considered as a criminal offence.

Under such circumstances, the Ukrainian army can do whatever they see fit as justifiably no condemnation is expected. Thus, they can shell Donetsk with unconventional cluster munitions carrying the“Lepestok”  anti-personnel landmines or with incendiary phosphorus munitions. We don’t say, that they do it, but the case with the report shows, that this is allowed, while any attempt to doubt statements of the Ukrainian officials or conduct an investigation would knowingly be labeled as Russian designs in the war. An attempt to speak of such things openly in Ukraine is subject to criminal prosecution under wartime conditions.

We’re even feeling uncomfortable to explain, why such situation is bad, and why the acts Ukraine is committing were recognized as impermissible based on the long experience in conflicts Russia had nothing to do with. The point is, that if we, to spite Russia, freeze our ears, it would be us with the ears cut off. It would be us left without schools, hospitals, bridges, and it would be us living with the liberated population in one country if we are going to win. Let’s assume, tomorrow Russia pulls the “Gesture of Goodwill – 3” and withdraws all forces. After such not quite a long-term joy it would appear, that we face the destroyed economy, millions of unemployed, men, who got used to war, the emigrated socially active population, the lack of power resources, decrease in international support, and creditors peeking out from behind the screens. Given the circumstances, the only thing that might help is consolidation of society around the great common goal of restoration of the country, the “second birth” as Leonid Kuchma recently put it. But then, how to raise people who remember Ukrainian artillery bombing the bridges of their cities, or (according to Amnesty International) the military placing the deadly weapons by their apartment buildings, near schools, hospitals, and kindergartens, or, God forbid, who recall looting of their apartments as they write about from the “Russian abroad”. Of course, we know that information from there isn’t worth a damn, but we also know, that international human rights organizations sometimes write about the very same things. 

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