Photo: AFP The war between Russia and Ukraine meant not only the confrontation of the troops of both countries, but also had an impact on the lives of the millions of civilians who were caught in the crossfire, thrown to the brink of a humanitarian disaster due to to the lack of basic services such as electricity, water, heating, food and medical supplies while they are exposed to constant attacks, denounced Amnesty International. We were from the first days accompanying the outbreak of the war, different institutional actions were carried out, fundraising, we went to the field to document the violation of rights and we saw violations of rights by both sides, civilians were left in the middle from the crossfire, Noelia Garone, director of Protection and Promotion of Human Rights at Amnesty International Argentina, told Télam, adding that at all times we ask for an end to the war and continue to support it. Dozens of cities, some important ones such as Izium or Mariupol, are exposed to constant attacks and many of them lack water, electricity or heating, while the situation worsens more and more due to shortages of food, water and medical supplies. Photo: AFP UNHCR, a United Nations agency, reported that more than 8 million people had to relocate because of the war and they are citizens who had to live in conditions that were not worthy of dignity, Garone said. The lives of people in both Ukraine and Russia were violated, they were taken from their normality, lives were broken, many people were left with nothing, even without their own papers. Those who remained in Ukraine are without electricity, with unsatisfied basic needs, without work, with complications in their diet, without being able to carry out paperwork. It is a society altered by conflict where survival is very complex. They constantly hear bombs, they live in fear, Garone explained. In its reports on the violation of rights in the war, Amnesty International denounced that Russia’s attacks against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure are illegitimate. Photo: AFP The morality of the civilian population is not a legitimate target, and carrying out such attacks with the sole purpose of terrorizing them is a war crime. Those responsible for ordering and committing these criminal attacks must be held to account, they assured the organization and recalled that on several occasions the Ukrainian authorities announced power cuts throughout the country as a result of the serious damage caused by the Russian attacks. In addition, the Ukrainian authorities urged the population of the entire country to reduce daily electricity consumption between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., and limited the use of public lighting. In December, Ukrainian authorities said that more than 50% of the country’s energy users had their electricity supply cut off. Photo: AFP Another of the problems that Amnesty warned about in its reports is the situation of the elderly, since in Ukraine people over 60 years of age represent almost a quarter of the population. Older people are disproportionately vulnerable to attack: according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which collects data on civilian casualties in Ukraine, people over the age of 60 make up 34% of the civilian population that has died, they warned. Amnesty also reported that Russian soldiers subjected Ukrainian civilians to a process of rights abuses known as leaking, which is when displaced Ukrainians end up involuntarily inside Russia or Russian-occupied territories. Photo: AFP The abusive and humiliating process known as ‘leakage’ is an egregious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. The deportation and forcible transfer of civilians to occupied territory are prohibited by international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity. Subjecting displaced civilians to the abuses of ‘leakage’ is cynical and cruel, said Marie Struthers, Amnesty’s director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Finally, Garone assured that the future of the people who were caught up in the conflict, one year after its start, is very uncertain. The future of people is very uncertain, they thought they could return to their homes in a short time and what they least expected was that they would not be able to return to their homes in a year or perhaps never, she said. There are wars and there have been many, but we must continue to insist on the international scaffolding that requires states not to use force to resolve conflicts.We have to strengthen the global community to mediate so that this does not happen again, Garone concluded.