The humanitarian response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been immense — an outpouring of good will from people across Europe and, indeed, the world. But when it comes to the large aid organizations facilitating it, the story becomes more blurred. From Amnesty International to the Red Cross, there have been major blind spots, including reports situating the Ukrainian army as aggressors, to aid projects supporting the Russian military. So how did some of these organizations get it so wrong? What would be a better aid paradigm in the future? And should we consider giving weapons to Ukraine as a humanitarian project?
In this episode of our podcast "Power Lines: From Ukraine to the World," co-produced with Message Heard, we speak with Melaniya Podolyak, a broadcaster and member of the Serhiy Prytula Foundation, about her work in bringing aid to Ukrainians, as well as the faults of the major international organizations. We also hear from John Spencer, the author, veteran, and chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute, about the specific mistakes made in a 2022 report from Amnesty.