Red Cross inactive in upholding rights of Ukrainian prisoners of war – Zelenskyy


Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday (13 Oct.) accused the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) of inaction in upholding the rights of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

The president’s chief of staff issued an ultimatum to the ICRC to launch a mission to a camp in the Russian-occupied east of the country within three days or Kyiv authorities would do it themselves.

In his nightly video message, Zelenskyy said 20 Ukrainian prisoners had been freed – the latest result of constant attempts to bring home detainees.

But Zelenskyy, in the latest of a series of Ukrainian criticisms of the ICRC, said no one had yet visited Olenivka – a notorious camp in eastern Ukraine where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war died in an explosion and fire in July.

“I believe the International Committee of the Red Cross is not a club with privileges where one receives a salary and enjoys life,” said Zelenskyy in his nightly video address.

“The Red Cross has obligations, primarily of a moral nature. The mandate of the Red Cross must be fulfilled. It is necessary to immediately do what is entirely logical for the Red Cross,” he added.

“There is Olenivka, a concentration camp where our prisoners of war are kept. Access to them must be provided as it was agreed. The Red Cross can make it happen. But you have to try to make it happen. Ukraine is ready to facilitate this.” (Source: CNA)