ICRC teams have been providing essential aid in the form of food parcels to communities living close to the frontlines. In 2023, we delivered 320,00 food parcels to those in need. Tetiana Olyniik/ICRC

Russia-Ukraine: Overview of the ICRC’s response two years after the escalation of the armed conflict

As we mark two years since the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict, people affected by ongoing hostilities share stories of resilience, despite the profound impact on their lives, including significant losses, widespread displacement and extensive damage to critical infrastructure.
Article 23 February 2024 Russia Ukraine

The large-scale escalation in the armed conflict comes on top of nearly ten years of protracted hostilities in Donetsk and Luhansk with important humanitarian consequences including people killed, injured or missing.

Since 24 February 2022, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has posted over 900 staff throughout Ukraine to help communities build the strength and capacity to recover and with the aim of minimizing the conflict's current and future impacts.

We have provided a range of emergency services over the last two years, for people living on the frontline, including distribution of food, water and other essential items. We have supplied health-care facilities with equipment and resources to improve their emergency preparedness and meet increased demand. Repairing water stations and assisting in the reconstruction of damaged homes have also been critical components of our response strategy.

Promoting compliance with international humanitarian law is another essential part of our response, to preserve the safety, physical integrity and dignity of those affected by the conflict, including civilians, prisoners of war, separated families and deceased or missing persons.

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Thousands of families have received information about detained or missing relatives thanks to collaboration between the ICRC Central Tracing Agency Bureau and the National Information Bureaus of Russia and Ukraine, although more remains to be done. The ICRC has also taken part, as a neutral intermediary, in the repatriation of the remains of hundreds of fallen Ukrainian and Russian soldiers in coordination with relevant authorities on both sides.

Since February 2022, we have visited almost 2,400 prisoners of war on both sides and have shared news and updates directly with thousands of families. We continue to push for access to all prisoners of war through bilateral dialogue.

VIDEO: ICRC's response two years after the escalation of the armed conflict

Working alongside our partners from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we have brought help to vast numbers of people who need it in Ukraine, neighbouring countries, and other places where people have sought refuge. In total, the Movement has brought humanitarian assistance to over 11.6 million people. That response was made possible by more than 129,000 volunteers and the staff of 58 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The humanitarian crisis which is affecting people in Ukraine and those living along the frontline is complex and will require continued collaboration and effort and a sustained engagement from the ICRC and partners from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Ukraine will remain the ICRC's largest operation in 2024. Two years on, we are committed to continuing our dialogue with the two parties and Third States to strengthen compliance with the Geneva Conventions, alleviating the suffering of those most affected by the conflict – be they civilians, prisoners of war or wounded soldiers –, working towards the safeguard of their dignity and fostering the resilience of affected communities.