ICRC slams Kiev's claims of 'forced evacuations'
The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has no evidence of Kiev's "forced evacuations" accusations and that its office in Rostov-on-Don is to assist anybody in need.
Ukraine has asked the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) not to open an office in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on its eastern border, so that it does not support what Kiev claims to be the "abduction" and "forced deportation" of Ukrainians to Russia.
The International Committee of the #RedCross’s (ICRC) behavior in #Russia’s war against #Ukraine has generated considerable criticism and demands that its role be properly assessed. #RussiaUkraineWar #UkraineUnderAttaсk https://t.co/8mhmTbDE20— KyivPost (@KyivPost) March 29, 2022
In response to Kiev's call, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told Reuters on Sunday that it had no first-hand information of claims of forced evacuations from Ukraine to Russia and did not aid any such operations. It stated that it intended to create an office in Rostov-on-Don to better serve individuals in need.
According to the ICRC, "Our priority is to reach victims of armed conflict, wherever they are, in order to assist them."
We’re a neutral, impartial, humanitarian organization.— ICRC (@ICRC) March 26, 2022
This simply means:
➡️ We take action, never sides
➡️ We focus on the needs
➡️ We help everyone, wherever they are
This is how we reach people with lifesaving aid, whatever side of the frontline they're on.
The organization made the decision to create an office in the city after its president, Peter Maurer, visited Russia on March 23 and 24.
Mikhail Radutskiy, leader of Ukraine's parliament's public health committee, stated in an open letter to the ICRC on March 26 that his body "strongly opposes" the creation of the ICRC's office in Rostov-on-Don.
“The Committee calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross not to legitimize ‘humanitarian corridors’ on the territory of the Russian Federation and not to support the abduction and forced deportation of Ukrainians. We call on you to change your decision on this issue,” the letter read.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Kiev has constantly resisted the evacuation of Ukrainians to Russia and has "forcibly pushed" migrants to the west.
The Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) reported that more than 300 people were evacuated from Mariupol from the Donetsk People's Republic and that 90 people of Russian and Moldovan nationalities, as well as from the Ukrainian Kherson region, were evacuated on Sunday.
Ukraine has been requesting a no-fly zone to be established in its airspace, but the West refused to fulfill these requests, which prompted Zelensky to instead ask for more armament. They complied, and the US and its NATO allies announced that they were sending surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine, including Soviet-era systems, such as the SA-8 and the SA-12 systems.
Many parties have joined the Ukrainian side amid pleas from Kiev for help, with 20,000 European mercenaries joining the fight, alongside the 16,000 foreign mercenaries whom Zelensky announced would be fighting in Ukraine, in addition to hundreds of extremists from Syria's Idlib.