ICRC refutes Russian disinformation: Mariupol video full of absurd assumptions

ICRC refutes Russian disinformation: Mariupol video full of absurd assumptions

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that the video shot by the Russians in their Mariupol office and distributed by a number of media outlets was full of false accusations and groundless assumptions about the organization’s work.

That’s according to an ICRC’s press release, Ukrinform reports.

It is noted that one of the main goals of the ICRC is to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population in an armed conflict. Given this, a core ICRC programme is to increase awareness of the risks caused by mines and other explosive remnants of war, as well as to provide support to local authorities who mark hazardous areas and remove such weapons. In order to properly identify and dispose of unexploded ordnance, the ICRC prints and distributes manuals to explain the threat such weapons pose to civilians living in contaminated areas.

"These ICRC manuals are not confidential. In fact, our reference material is publicly available online in multiple languages. Another manual that appears in the video is commonly used by teams working to neutralize dangerous items to avoid accidents,” the organization said.

Read also: ICRC not to release list of POWs from Azovstal steel plant

The ICRC added that they are implementing programmes that help people become more financially independent in the face of economic problems caused by an armed conflict.

"We have in recent years distributed incubators as part of our agri-economic programs, to help families raise poultry, in full transparency with the authorities. Any suggestion that these incubators would be used for anything else is preposterous," the ICRC said.

The organization also draws attention to the fact that the video states the ICRC allegedly has a "stack of children's medical records."

“But the ICRC does not collect any of such documents. The video also hints at the ICRC being complicit in human organ trafficking. This is yet another false accusation,” the organization stressed.  

ICRC spokesman Jason Straziuso underlined “purely humanitarian” goals that they pursue.

"We face challenges operating in areas affected by armed conflict, indeed, but our work is designed to alleviate suffering, nothing more. We have faith that most people will recognize false and hasty claims when they see them," he said.

Earlier, Russian media reported, citing Russia’s Investigative Committee, that law enforcers would look into video footage of a raid of the ICRC base in Mariupol, where hundreds of medical records holding data on “children with healthy organs” were allegedly found, to assess the information in terms of criminal legislation.

As reported, Mariupol mayor's adviser Petro Andriushchenko said on May 30 that the invaders had searched the ICRC premises in Mariupol and that their propaganda was circulating allegations of "crimes." In particular, according to the invaders, more than a thousand medical records of children "with healthy organs," tutorials for children on how to handle weapons, and reports on the purchase of incubators allegedly for laboratories designed to grow biological microorganisms were all allegedly discovered in the office.

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