As the invasion of Ukraine continues, Amnesty International is keeping a close eye on human rights abuses and the well-being of civilians. 

Since the beginning of the conflict, Amnesty International has documented war crimes, including the targeting of critical civilian infrastructure and blocking of aid for civilians. Civilians in conflict-affected areas have been exposed to constant attacks and often cut off from water, electricity and heating. Many people living in Russian-occupied areas remain in dire need of humanitarian assistance or medical care, yet are being denied the right to travel to Ukrainian government-controlled territories.  

Maria Ponomarenko, a journalist from Barnaul in Western Siberia, was sentenced to six years in a penal colony for posting on social media about an attack by Russian forces on a theatre in Mariupol Ukraine in which civilians were killed.

In a statement to the court, Maria Ponomarenko, 44, who wore a print of the Star of David bearing the written inscription ‘Opposition activist, patriot, pacifist’ around her neck, said she did not consider herself a criminal.

“I have the right to say the word ‘war’ because I am being judged under the laws of military censorship,” she said referring to a ban by the Russian authorities on referring to invasion of Ukraine as a ‘war.’