The Red Cross Society of Ukraine says that the Russian Red Cross has illegally seized its property in Crimea. The president of the Ukrainian Red Cross, Ivan Usychenko, made the accusation at a press conference, April 18, reports Ukrainska Pravda, citing Ukrainian News.
According to Usychenko, the leadership of the Russian Red Cross held a meeting on March 28, where it decided to create Russian branches of the Red Cross on the annexed territories of Crimea, Simferopol, and Sevastopol.
“Due to this situation, we have decided to send a letter to the Russian Red Cross about the illegal actions, the creation of (Russian) Red Cross branches in Crimea and the seizure of property that belonged to the (Ukrainian) Society, the Red Cross of Crimea, and the municipal organization of the Red Cross of Sevastopol,” Usychenko said.
He said the property has not been sealed off, but the inaugural conference was held on the basis of the Crimean organization and the property has remained under the Russian Red Cross.
He added that the value of the seized property is around US $5 million, including the 500 sq. m property in Simferopol, 6 properties in Crimean district offices that are owned by the Red Cross Society of Ukraine, as well as office equipment, food parcels and emergency reserves.
Usychenko noted that, despite the seizure of properties, staff members who worked for the Ukrainian Red Cross are continuing to work, although now under Russian direction.
However, Valery Serhovsky, the deputy secretary general of the Red Cross Society of Ukraine and the head of the society’s international department, says that the Red Cross of Russia could have conducted its activities in Crimea if it had addressed the Ukrainian Red Cross and asked permission to carry out certain humanitarian programs on Crimean territory.
Translated by A.M.