Red Cross: We are waiting for Moscow to provide the list of humanitarian supplies to Ukraine



2014/08/12 • Russia

The Red Cross was greatly surprised to hear that Russia was sending a humanitarian convoy to help residents of eastern Ukraine. The ICRC has not yet received the list of goods dispatched from Moscow.

In an interview with Andre Loersch, representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), DW tried to find out what the humanitarian aid mission is actually doing in eastern Ukraine.

DW: Mr. Loersch, it seems that all parties to the conflict have concurred that the civilian population of eastern Ukraine should receive humanitarian aid. The parties agreed that supplies should be coordinated by the ICRC. Yesterday, it seemed that this decision was approved by everyone, but now there are conflicting reports about a humanitarian aid convoy en route from Russia. What’s going on?

Andre Loersch: Yes, indeed, all parties agreed, in principle, to let Russia deliver humanitarian aid to Ukraine with the support of the Red Cross. The parties came to the conclusion that humanitarian assistance should be transferred to the ICRC so as to ensure that our employees are involved in its distribution. We then asked the Russian government to provide a specific list of what humanitarian aid will be delivered, whether it be medicine, food or other things.

We still have not received this list. That is why we were so surprised to hear that a humanitarian aid convoy has been dispatched from Russia. This information has confused us; now we want to know what’s really happening. So much different information, including reports from the Russian media, is being announced everywhere that it is difficult to find a common denominator.

This morning, the President of the ICRC talked with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. We are in touch with the Ukrainian authorities to find out what’s really going on.

– What conditions are required to launch a humanitarian mission in the Ukraine?

– The ICRC is working in Ukraine, including in the eastern part of the country, where we distribute humanitarian aid. We deliver medicine and distribute food and hygiene items to the Donbas, Kharkiv and Mariupol.

The main condition for our cooperation with the humanitarian mission from Russia is that relief supplies be sent to us for verification. In this case, the transfer must be made at an official control check point at the Ukrainian border. We ourselves determine who needs help and distribute it; we preserve our independence and work in accordance with our approved criteria.

– You mentioned values such as respect for neutrality when working in a conflict zone. How can you preserve your independence vis-à-vis the parties to the conflict and not become a tool for someone else’s propaganda?

– This question was an important part of the negotiations with both parties. We try to remain neutral, and we hope that no one will be able to drag us into any kind of conflict. This applies to all parties, and not only those involved in the Ukrainian conflict. This point is a fundamental principle of our activity. If we lose our independence, we won’t be able to work properly because the people who need help will stop trusting us.

Translated by Christine Chraibi
Photo: humanitarian convoy en route to Ukraine (published in Russian media)

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  • Milton Devonair

    RC, they’re going to lie, lie and lie. They’re russia. They cannot be trusted to be anything other than russians. The russian apes didn’t even let any humans in to inspect the crash site of the civilian jet they shot down.

    Any relief for Ukrainians can come in from Ukraine, from Ukrainians.

  • True_finn

    Ruskies humanitarian aid,

    ps. sorry cant translate, but I think it has proper picture.

  • Donald Casavant

    I can see what is going to happen. As the aid trucks arrive at the border, they will not stop, they will try to force their way into Ukraine. The Ukrainian army will try to stop the trucks without using any force. If they are successful in halting the trucks for inspection, all of a sudden the trucks and the entire area will come under attack by long range rockets. The attack will be accomplished by the Russian Terrorist, but the Terrorist and the Russian government will claim it is the Ukrainian ATO force that attacked the Russian aid trucks! This is the excuse that Russian will use to invade the Ukraine.
    My understanding of the deal for aid was that the trucks would not cross the border. They were to be unloaded and the contents were to be transported from the border to the distribution point by the IRC. The IRC was surprised that the trucks left Moscow because the Russians were supposed to send the IRC a list of the aid so that the IRC would know what to distribute, to whom but the list was never sent!
    Typical Russian subterfuge!

    • caap02

      I agree….Putin is looking for a causus belli, and there is an excellent chance of creating one with the “humanitarian” caper.

  • John Deitche

    Obviously the picture link from true finn is photoshopped. The truth is bad enough.

  • Mazepa

    They will need more of these supplies for radiation poisoning victims in moscow….but then again, it’ll be too late. The soviet union Ukraine destroyed and the mockal federation is next. Guaranteed.

  • LorCanada

    Wasn’t USA and Germany supposed to be involved in the international Red Cross checking? Not sure where I read that.

    As part of the ‘humanitarian aid’ I believe the news said 100 TONS of SUGAR were being delivered. Is that to sweeten the invasive operation? It’d be funny if it wasn’t so serious.