Misconceptions circulating about the work of the Red Cross

Photo: Otto-Ville Väätäinen / Suomen Punainen Risti

We want to address the misconceptions that have circulated over the past few days about the work of the Red Cross to aid people suffering in the Ukraine crisis.

In recent days, in social media and some foreign media in particular, misconceptions and false information have been circulated about the operation of the International Red Cross in Ukraine and its neighbouring areas.

We understand that the claims made in various contexts about the operation of the Red Cross raise questions. However, the claims are based on incorrect information and misconceptions.

In a situation such as this, it is extremely important to convey correct information about how the Red Cross operates and why.

The Red Cross never forces or deports people

It has been claimed that the Red Cross supports deportations from Ukraine to Russia.

The Red Cross never forcibly deports or evacuates anyone. We do not support any activity that goes against our principles.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has discussed the possibility of setting up an office in Rostov, Russia, near the Ukrainian border. Its purpose would be to support providing aid to those who need it. The Red Cross is also increasing its presence in other areas near Ukraine. The discussions about establishing an office are underway, and no office has yet been established.

Providing aid to people requires negotiations with all parties

The ICRC has negotiated with both Ukraine and Russia on the delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The safe delivery of humanitarian aid and the protection of civilians in areas where battles are ongoing must be negotiated with all parties of the conflict.

The discussions between the ICRC and Russia covered the following topics:

  • delivering humanitarian aid to areas where battles are fought
  • protecting civilians and the infrastructure
  • protecting prisoners of war and interned civilians and helping missing people
  • increasing the aid offered by the ICRC in the crisis areas

Read the ICRC news release

The Red Cross is neutral – for a good reason

The Red Cross demands that civilians are protected and that humanitarian aid is safely delivered to conflict areas. Forever.

The ICRC has the mandate to negotiate on humanitarian aid as a neutral intermediary in armed conflicts. This mandate is based on the Geneva Conventions.

Based on its mandate, the Red Cross also continuously conducts confidential dialogue with the parties of war on the obligations of humanitarian law and how to respect them.

The Red Cross defends the right to life and humane treatment regardless of nationality. We help people based on their need for aid.

Further information about the Red Cross and the protection of civilians


Follow our work in helping people affected by the Ukraine crisis
Follow our work in helping people affected by the Ukraine crisis
The operations of the Red Cross are steered by seven fundamental principles.
The operations of the Red Cross are steered by seven fundamental principles.