News release

Ukraine: As fighting intensifies around Kharkiv, ICRC increases support for displaced people

Geneva/Kyiv (ICRC) – Thousands of civilians living along the Ukraine-Russia border in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine have had to flee their homes the last few days due to the escalation of fighting.

While many of the 8,000 people reported to have left have found refuge with host families and relatives, civilians from the border areas continue to arrive at collective shelters in Kharkiv city.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has provided food and hygiene items to support the ongoing efforts of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) to assist those who have fled their homes. In addition, the ICRC is supporting several health facilities in the Kharkiv region with medical items to treat the wounded due to the spike in hostilities.

The current influx of displaced people in Kharkiv is one of the largest we have witnessed in Ukraine this year,

Juerg Eglin, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Ukraine, said as he was visiting Kharkiv this week.

“While thousands of people were able to find a safer place to go, it is important to remember that others remain behind, either due to their limited mobility or because they chose not to leave their home. It is of utmost importance that all precautions are taken to ensure that their life, property, and civilian infrastructure they rely on are protected at all times.”

Over the past two years, the ICRC has been supporting local authorities in Kharkiv region to cope with the consequences of increasing power cuts and water outages. Additional support is now under way to improve access to energy and heating and assure access to heating for over 23,000 families during the next winter season.

The international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine has inflicted heavy losses and deep suffering for civilians as well as damage and destruction to civilian infrastructure. The ICRC remains committed to supporting people affected by the international armed conflict on both sides including as part of the wider Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response. The ICRC reminds parties that it is the obligation of states to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law.


About the ICRC

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.


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