Red Cross Unable to Reach Mariupol

Russian forces not allowing teams in to aid civilians. 

An attempt by the Red Cross to reach the besieged port city of Mariupol in Ukraine was unsuccessful and the team will try again Saturday. More than 100,000 people remain trapped in the city, and local leaders say Russian forces are not allowing aid supplies inside. 

Among other things, the Red Cross team wants to help facilitate the safe passage of civilians out of the city. 

A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross said, “For the operation to succeed, it is critical that the parties respect the agreements and provide the necessary conditions and security guarantees.” The ICRC says it acts as a “neutral intermediary” with plans “to accompany the convoy out from Mariupol to another city in Ukraine.” 

“Hundreds of thousands of the city’s residents are now facing extreme or total shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medicine,” the ICRC said in a statement. “People of all ages, including our staff, are sheltering in unheated basements, risking their lives to make short runs outside for food and water. Dead bodies of civilians and combatants remain trapped under the rubble or lying in the open where they fell.” 

A safe corridor had been agreed to by Russia and the ICRC, but the ICRC said that exact terms may not be fully agreed upon and urged both sides to come to a mutual accord on it. 

“Our presence will put a humanitarian marker on this planned movement of people, giving the convoy additional protection and reminding all sides of the civilian, humanitarian nature of the operation.” 

The city remains blocked and Russian forces “don’t fulfill their promises” to allow the delivery of aid, the military governor of the region said Friday. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For U.S. officials endeavoring to support efforts to aid citizens of Ukraine.
  • For Red Cross workers trying to enter Mariupol to assist civilians.
  • For Ukrainians trapped in the city without food, water, or medicine.

Sources: CNN,  Reuters, The Hill


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