The International Committee of the Red Cross has asked the Russian authorities to allow it to open a representative office in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, located on the border with Ukraine, for allegedly "more effective work" in the East of Ukraine.

The Committee strongly objects to the International Society of the Red Cross opening an office in Rostov-on-Don.

As this will not only help legitimise the "humanitarian corridors" on the territory of the Russian Federation, but will also become a kind of support for the forced kidnapping of Ukrainian citizens and their trafficking  to the territory of the aggressor state.

According to the information available to the Committee, the Russian invaders have already forcibly deported several thousand Mariupol residents to Russia. The captured Mariupol residents have been taken to filtration camps, where the invaders check people's phones and documents. After the inspection, some Mariupol residents were redirected to some remote cities in Russia, while the fate of the others remains unknown.

This is a violation of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and yet another war crime committed by Russia.

In such circumstances, the ICRC should protect and assist the affected citizens of Ukraine but not side with the aggressor state and in some way contribute to the continuation of this crime.

Therefore, we consider the intentions of the International Red Cross Society to open a Red Cross office in Rostov-on-Don unacceptable.

The Committee calls on the leadership of the International Committee of the Red Cross to change its decision and not to support the forced trafficking of Ukrainian citizens to the territory of Russia as the invader state.
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