Posted: 18.04.2024 17:38:00

Shevtsov explained why Red Cross suspended BRC membership

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies suspended the membership of the Belarusian Red Cross (BRC) at the end of 2023, demanding the resignation of the BRC General Secretary, Dmitry Shevtsov, after his trip to Donbass. In his talk with the ONT TV channel, the official shed light on the details of that situation.

Photo: video screenshot

As noted by Mr. Shevtsov, it all started with the accusations against Belarus that it was stealing children from Ukraine. “Later accusations began to surface in the media from time to time that children who had come to Belarus were not returning home. Aleksei Talai and his foundation, together with me, decided to show them their place. Therefore, we went to Donbass to demonstrate that all the children who had been coming to the Republic of Belarus for a year and a half were safely at home. A film crew also accompanied us. We then visited all the children who had vacationed in Belarus, made videos and showed them to everyone. By doing that, we actually destroyed the ground of accusations against the Republic of Belarus, since kidnapping is a serious crime. I think that's what our international opponents were offended by,” he explained.

The BRC General Secretary shared his opinion that the Red Cross is a means of further influence on Belarus for the West, “My trip showed that, unfortunately, there is no Red Cross at all in these territories, because when I arrived and came to families or somewhere else in my Red Cross clothes, people were surprised and said that was the first time they saw such uniform. Can you imagine? The conflict had been going on for ten years, but that was their first time to see a representative of the Red Cross. Following my trip, I had a call with colleagues and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross. I informed them that the Red Cross was not represented by anyone in those territories, but I was told that there was an office in Donetsk. It can be actually located anywhere, but its activity is the fundamental point. How will we help people then? We were told that they could not act in the areas where there was a danger to life. That was actually a reproach to us.”

Mr. Shevtsov mentioned the BRC visit to Lisichansk (located 3-5km from the line of contact) as an example, “We had to merge with the terrain in order not to be attacked, so I explained that I could not put a red T-shirt on because it was a very good target for a sniper. I was told at the Red Cross that we should not enter the territory where it was dangerous for life. Excuse me, but what about the children who live there? Why did we decide that it was dangerous for a Red Cross employee, and not for those who lived there? We are not talking about going to trenches to inspect the living conditions of soldiers, to bring humanitarian aid there. We went to peaceful people, who lived there all the time. I always say that I was ashamed when I arrived there in clothes, in a bulletproof vest, in a helmet, and the children were playing football before boarding school. They have been living a routine life for not two years, but since the conflict emerged, when the illegal seizure of power in Kiev took place.”