Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Gabby Arias,

Press Release

Human Rights Must Be Protected in Ukraine as Risk of Further Conflict with Russia Escalates


Responding to news that President Vladimir Putin has ordered “peacekeeping operations” to the so called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine, Daniel Balson, Europe and Central Asia Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA said:

“It is abundantly clear the human costs of a full-blown conflict will be devastating to the people of Ukraine. U.S. officials have already recognized this, and Amnesty International has repeatedly stressed the real and immediate threat that an escalation of violence entails for civilians in Ukraine.

“We continue to urge the State Department to take further steps to protect the human rights of Ukrainians at greatest risk. This includes individuals who may face retaliation – such as Ukrainian journalists, political activists, and rights advocates residing in territories that may fall under control of the Russian government – as well as minority groups that have been singled out for abuses by the Kremlin. The State Department must also work with international partners to institute mechanisms to monitor human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law that may arise in the event of further escalation of the conflict.

“Above all, the human cost of potential conflict must be mitigated at every possible step.”


Amnesty International has long documented human rights abuses in territories under Russian occupation and where the Russian military has intervened abroad. In Georgia, the Kremlin’s “borderization” policy has separated rural Georgians from their sources of income and their places of worship. In Syria, Russian military attacks have killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed vital civilian sites including schools, hospitals, and homes.

In Ukraine itself, Russian authorities have stamped out virtually all forms of free expression in the Crimean Peninsula; human rights activists and journalists are routinely pursued and subjected to enforced disappearance and politically-motivated trials. Last week, a prosecutor in occupied Crimea asked a court to jail journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko for 11 years. Mr. Yesypenko, a journalist for the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty service, was initially detained in March 2021.


Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

Democracy Defenders Vow to Sue After GOP-Led Arizona County Refuses to Certify Election

The secretary of state plans to sue after GOP officials put the votes of more than 47,000 Arizonans at risk.

Kenny Stancil ·

Amazon Workers to Protest 'Corporate Law-Breaker' CEO Jassy, Demanding End to Union-Busting

"If Jassy comes to New York he should come to bargain a contract with Amazon workers, not bluster or practice union-busting."

Julia Conley ·

90+ Groups Warn 'Kids Online Safety Act' Could Have 'Damaging' Effects

"Congress needs to pass real laws that rein in the abuses of Big Tech and protect everyone's privacy and human rights rather than using kids as pawns to advance poorly drafted legislation in order to score political points," said one critic.

Jessica Corbett ·

'No F*cking Excuse': Outrage in Houston Over Officials' Late Notice of Boil Water Alert

"Would have been nice to know BEFORE my little girl showered, drank water from the tap, and brushed her teeth this evening," said one mother after authorities took at least six hours to notify more than 2 million residents of the advisory.

Brett Wilkins ·

Inspired by Starbucks Organizing Wins, Peet's Coffee Workers File for Union Elections

"We deserve a say in how our workplace is run and we deserve to be fairly compensated for the value we create," said one Peet's employee.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo