Geneva/Kiev (ICRC) – In Donetsk last night, an ICRC staff member and eight volunteers from the Ukrainian Red Cross Society were taken away by a group of armed men and interrogated. All of them were released after a few hours. One volunteer was roughed up during the incident and had to be taken to hospital; he was treated and released shortly afterwards.
“The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization, and depends on the full cooperation and understanding of everyone involved in the clashes; without that it becomes very difficult for us to do our job, to respond adequately to the needs of all those affected by the violence,” said Michel Masson, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Ukraine. “We call on everyone involved to respect the red cross emblem. This is of utmost importance, as the emblem provides protection for Red Cross workers carrying out their humanitarian duties.”
The ICRC wants to thank all those responsible for resolving this incident speedily, and reiterates its commitment to addressing the humanitarian needs arising from the situation in eastern Ukraine. Earlier this week, the ICRC donated medical supplies for people injured in fighting in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region.