The International Committee of the Red Cross has been accused by a Ukrainian official of not cooperating with her country on the plight of refugees. The latter suspects him of being an “accomplice” of “deportations” to Russia, which the ICRC firmly denies. The organization claims to have “facilitated the voluntary passage of civilians and wounded in complete safety”.
A Ukrainian official on Wednesday criticized the International Committee of the Red Cross for not cooperating with her country on the fate of Ukrainian refugees in Russia, suspecting it of being “accomplice” of “deportations”, accusations strongly rejected by the ICRC . “The ICRC is not fulfilling its mandate” concerning the people evacuated, according to her by force to Russia by the Russian army, launched Lyudmyla Denissova, in charge of human rights at the Ukrainian Parliament on Ukrainian television.
120 unanswered letters
“I suspect them of being accomplices” of Russia, she continued, after speaking Wednesday with an official of the Ukrainian branch of the ICRC. “I have been trying to see the president of the ICRC for a month to discuss with him the deportation of our citizens to Russia. I am trying to do this after the president of the ICRC said that the ICRC would open a representation in Rostov-on-the-Don (southern Russia on the border with Ukraine, editor’s note) and encourage the reception of Ukrainians on the territory of the aggressor state”, declared Lioudmyla Denissova.
“Today I met the representative of the Ukrainian branch of the Red Cross to whom I wrote 120 letters about the search for our citizens. I received no response,” she said. said Wednesday. She cited UN figures, according to which 550,000 Ukrainian refugees are in Russia, including 121,000 children. “Where are they? In filtration camps? In temporary homes? We have testimonies of people who were brought” to Russia, she said. Lioudmyla Denissova said she asked her Russian counterpart Tatiana Moskalkova to provide her with the lists of Ukrainian refugees in Russia in order to work with the Red Cross for their repatriation: “Zero response from her and from the ICRC”.
Charges “firmly rejected” by the Red Cross
The ICRC “firmly rejected these false accusations”, reassuring once again that it was not “carrying out forced evacuations” and recalling that the organization had “facilitated the voluntary passage of civilians and the wounded in safety to other towns. Ukrainians”.
The organization confirmed “having explored the possibility of opening an office in Rostov-on-Don” in order “to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the armed conflict”. “Building and maintaining a dialogue with the parties to a conflict is essential to gaining access to all those affected and obtaining the security guarantees necessary for our teams to provide life-saving assistance,” the ICRC stressed.
The ICRC also said it had “a positive and constructive meeting” with the Ukrainian human rights officer on Wednesday and “responded to the concerns of the authorities on these issues bilaterally and confidentially”. The Ukrainian authorities regularly accuse the Russian army of forcibly bringing Ukrainian civilians into Russia.