For over 150 years, the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has religiously guarded its neutrality in conflicts, in order to provide humanitarian aid to those in need on both sides of the front. This rule has been shaken by the Russian Red Cross Society’s alignment with the Russian government, leading it to collect items for the Russian Army, including military staples for underequipped troops and drones which are used to correct artillery fire against Ukrainian soldiers.
Red Cross joins Russian home front movement
The first warning signals of the Russian Red Cross’ trajectory appeared in October when this national office of the humanitarian organization started a fundraiser to support families of Russian servicemen and mobilized soldiers with humanitarian and psychological help. This act in itself borders on non-neutrality and, by increasing the comfort of those on the home front, is likely antagonistic to any burgeoning anti-war movement of soldiers’ mothers.
Making the Russian Red Cross’ actions even less neutral is the fact that they are held as part of Russia’s MyVmeste campaign, translated as “We are together.”
This home front movement, initiated by Vladimir Putin, inter alia, supports Russian soldiers by delivering them food, military gear, and children’s letters, creating hand-made “trench candles” and portable heaters so the invaders can better withstand the winter cold in Ukraine, instructing schoolkids to assemble UAVs that can correct Russian artillery fire at the front, and printing chocolate wrappers for soldiers with illustrations by Russian kids wishing them victory: