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Red Cross chooses not to suspend Russian membership despite allegations of support for Russian aggression in Ukraine

Despite evidence of the Russian Red Cross’s (RRC) breaches of neutrality, the Red Cross opted to create an oversight body and requested the RRC to address the identified challenges rather than suspending its membership.
russian red cross helps Russian army
Collage: Euromaidan Press
Red Cross chooses not to suspend Russian membership despite allegations of support for Russian aggression in Ukraine

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) chose not to suspend the Russian Red Cross (RRC) membership despite potential violations of neutrality regulations, according to the Guardian.

Earlier, the Red Cross was found supporting Russian aggression in Ukraine and collecting aid for Russian soldiers instead of staying neutral.

The IFRC has the authority to suspend members violating the Red Cross principles of neutrality and independence, as it did with the Belarusian chapter in 2023, but not Russia.

Instead, the Red Cross decided to create an oversight body and request the RRC to address the identified challenges and alleged breaches of integrity rather than suspending their membership, according to the Guardian.

In response, Ukrainian officials swiftly criticized the decision, stating that the IFRC had failed to take stronger action. This criticism echoes claims from Kyiv over the past two years that international Red Cross bodies have been overly concerned about upsetting Moscow, leading them to inadvertently support Russia’s agenda, according to the Guardian.

Allegations on Russian Red Cross (RRC)

Guardian reported in March that high-ranking members of the RRC’s regional branches expressed the necessity for war against “Ukrainian Nazis,” echoing Russian propaganda, and that Red Cross workers in uniform were often present at military training events for children.

The RRC recently signed a cooperation agreement with Artek, a youth camp located in annexed Crimea where Russians sent some children abducted from Ukraine. According to the Guardian, Konstantin Fedorenko, the head of Artek, has been subjected to sanctions by both the US and the EU.

The head of the RRC, Pavel Savchuk, was a board member of the All-Russian People’s Front (ONF), a Kremlin-created movement that owns the trademark for the Z sign, which has become a symbol of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Savchuk was listed as a board member on the ONF’s website until journalists inquired about it earlier this year when his photograph was removed. The IFRC claims that Savchuk has not been involved with the ONF since March 2022, the Guardian reported.

RRC fundraised the support for Russian soldiers’ families, offering them financial and humanitarian assistance. They were also involved in the MyVmeste campaign, where RRC assisted in collecting and distributing military-related gear, such as drones and uniforms, directly supporting front-line soldiers.


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