The pro-Kremlin media accuses the Red Cross of being engaged in organ trafficking activities involving children in Donbas. This false narrative is designed to discredit this international organization, which has so far been denied access to Russian-held territories, where it was planning to get involved in the evacuation of civilians and providing medical care to the population.
NEWS: Following searches, hundreds of medical records of children were discovered at the Red Cross headquarters in Mariupol. Military expert Vladimir Evseev explained how and to what end they were used.
“Tsargrad” previously reported that hundreds of medical records of children had been discovered at the Red Cross headquarters. The documents made no mention about diseases, but merely included data about healthy organs. The publication pointed out that all the information was provided in the Latin script.
Over the course of an extended period of time, Ukrainian Nazis organized the transport of human organs to Europe. At first, they contacted the relatives of the Ukrainian serviceman who was on his deathbed. Once they provided their consent, the military organ was sold, the expert explained.
Once this scheme became operational, they moved on to harvest the organs of civilians in Donbas. They mainly targeted girls and children. In fact, if Russia hadn’t launched the special operation in Ukraine, part of the children in Donbas would have been sold for their organs. These activities were coordinated by the Red Cross, Evseev went on to say.
NARRATIVE: Children in Donbas were sold for organs under the coordination of the Red Cross
BACKGROUND: After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on Moscow on numerous occasions to allow its teams to help evacuate civilians from Mariupol and provide medical care to the local population. Russia turned down each request, denying Red Cross experts access to the area, and has repeatedly violated the ceasefire to allow the evacuation of civilians via humanitarian corridors. The Red Cross and the OSCE had condemned Russia’s lack of cooperation, which turned both organizations into targets of Russian propaganda.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this narrative is to discredit the initiatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate civilians from Donbas and to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: The Red Cross has immediately responded to the accusations of pro-Kremlin media, describing them as false. “The ICRC has not collected any such records. The video also insinuated that the ICRC is involved in organ trafficking. This is another unequivocally false allegation”, a press release of the Red Cross reads. The ICRC highlights the fact that its goals are purely humanitarian in nature. “We face challenges operating in areas affected by armed conflict, yes, but our work is designed to alleviate suffering, nothing more. We have faith that most people will recognize false and hasty claims when they see them," said Jason Straziuso, an ICRC spokesman.
Another report published by the ICRC states that ICRC experts left Mariupol on March 15. At the end of March, the headquarters of ICRC in this city had been bombed. Even the website of “Tsargrad” published a photo of the destroyed headquarters adjoined to the article about the medical records of children stored at the ICRC. The image clearly shows the building had completely burned down, except “a safe with a pile of medical records”!
Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, wrote on Telegram that the occupation forces conducted searches at the headquarters of the Red Cross and discovered some medical records, adding: “It’s the same building Russia destroyed”.
The Russian media provides no clear-cut evidence to prove the records had been found at the headquarters of the ICRC, which had been in fact destroyed, that the records in question do not belong to the occupation authorities or that this isn’t a deception. Besides, the ICRC is the best-known and most respected international humanitarian organization. Its history and actions during the nearly 160 years of activity in conflict areas confirm the absurdity of the allegations targeting this organization.
The false narrative was constructed observing the same model employed to describe to the OSCE mission to Mariupol, which was accused of having collaborated with the “Azov” battalion, providing it with intelligence. Veridica has recently debunked such a false narrative published by Kremlin-linked media, which triggered a genuine smear campaign against the OSCE’s efforts to keep the peace and against the Red Cross’s efforts to help the civilians in the conflict area. The campaign was meant to convince the public at home that the evidence of international experts regarding Russia’s destabilizing actions in Donbas is false.