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Russian Red Cross asks ICRC for assistance in stopping torture of Russian POWs in Ukraine

It was reiterated that humane treatment of POWs is enshrined in the 1949 Geneva Convention

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. The Russian Red Cross (RRC) has addressed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with a plea to assist in stopping the torture of Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine, the Russian Red Cross’ press service reported on Wednesday.

"The Russian Red Cross is asking the ICRC to provide assistance in resolving the issue of torturing Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine as well as direct the attention of all sides to the necessity to observe international humanitarian law with regards to the prisoners of war," the statement said.

As Chairman of the Russian Red Cross Pavel Savchuk noted, the appeal was sent due to the emergence of numerous photo and video materials on social networks depicting the abuse of the Russian POWs.

"Our mission is to alleviate the suffering of people, to protect their life and health as well as to ensure respect to any human being under any circumstances. Currently, photos and videos are being actively circulating around the Internet presumably with the soldiers of Ukraine’s armed forces torturing Russian prisoners. We hope that our colleagues [from the ICRC] will assist in resolving this important issue. Such actions are inadmissible," the head of the Russian Red Cross said as quoted by the press service.

He reiterated that humane treatment of POWs is enshrined in the 1949 Geneva Convention. "Article 17 of this document prohibits the use of physical and moral torture. And Article 130 states that torture or inhumane treatment are serious violations of the convention," Savchuk said. The subject of the humane treatment of the POWs was also raised during his March 23 meeting with ICRC President Peter Maurer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.