Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour Ukraine. As shocking news floods in, Amnesty International is ready to help protect human rights in Ukraine – but we need your help.
As Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said, “Our worst fears have been realised. After weeks of escalation, a Russian invasion that is likely to lead to the most horrific consequences for human lives and human rights has begun.”
Ukraine is facing heavy shelling, rocket artillery, and missile attacks. First and foremost our fears are for the people of Ukraine – civilians are dying, families are being displaced, lives and livelihoods are being ruined. Our hearts go out to everyone caught in this violence.
Oksana Pokalchuk is the director of Amnesty International Ukraine. She is hiding in a bomb shelter in the capital of Kyiv.
“Everyone here is scared. We didn’t expect the attack to be so big. We thought conflict might arise in the eastern part of Ukraine. Not all the territories,” says Oksana in an article from the Independent.
Oksana fears the shelters are unsafe and inaccessible, and they will do little to protect people from airstrikes. Older people or those with disabilities may not even make it to the shelters.
More reports are coming through of densely populated areas and even hospitals being targeted. Hospitals and civilians are specifically protected under international humanitarian law. This is a grave human rights crisis.
Responding to armed conflict is a core part of Amnesty International’s tireless efforts to protect human rights and the safety of people around the world.
Right now our teams are working hard to:
Gather and verify evidence to document human rights violations and war crimes. The Amnesty Crisis Evidence Lab are experts at this and have already verified attacks on a hospital and civilian areas. Solid evidence is how we bring abusers to justice.
Support staff and human rights defenders on the ground. People like Oksana and her team need to be relocated to safety.
Prepare direct advocacy and campaigns. Now is the time to mobilise and stop the human rights violations that cause people to become internally displaced or refugees.
Amnesty International is only able to respond quickly with your support. Emergencies like these stretch our team and resources to their limits.
Thank you so much for your generosity.