Ukraine: Online video from Mariupol is filled with false claims

Kyiv (ICRC) – A video filmed in our Mariupol office now circulating in some media is filled with false claims and baseless assumptions about the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
News release 31 May 2022 Ukraine Russia

One of the ICRC's main objectives is to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population in armed conflict. Given this, a core ICRC programme is to increase awareness on 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 ICRC also runs programmes to help people become more financially self-sustainable in the face of economic challenges due to armed conflict. We have in recent years distributed incubators as part of our agro-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 video also alleges that the ICRC has a stack of medical records of children. The ICRC has not collected any such records. The video also insinuates that the ICRC is involved in organ trafficking. This is another unequivocally false allegation.

The ICRC's goals are purely humanitarian in nature. We face challenges operating in areas affected by armed conflict, yes, 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," said Jason Straziuso, an ICRC spokesman.

The ICRC carries out its activities in full transparency with the authorities.

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