Red Cross rescue workers released after being detained in Mariupol: ‘Great relief’
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday expressed “great relief” after aid workers in the Russian-occupied, Ukrainian city of Mariupol were detained, but then released.
“The International Committee of the Red Cross team that was held by police in Manhush on Monday was released last night,” an ICRC spokesperson said to CNN Tuesday, adding that the release was a “great relief to us and to their families.”
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told CNN that an evacuation convoy of seven buses accompanied by the ICRC had been detained Monday in a Russian-controlled town near Mariupol, Manhush.
“Despite the promises of their leadership, the [Russian] occupying forces do not allow anyone to go to Mariupol,” explained Vereshchuk, according to CNN.
“The occupiers blocked representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Manhush. They were released last night after negotiations and sent to Zaporizhzhia,” she added.
Red Cross workers have been attempting to reach Mariupol since Friday, according to CNBC, as the ICRC said that the detention incident indicated how “volatile and complex” the efforts to ensure safe passage around Mariupol has been.
Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said Monday that the Russian-occupied city was “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,” reports CNN, as more than 100,000 people still are in need of evacuation from the city.
No evacuation bus has yet to be able to reach Mariupol, according to CNN, in spite of the Russian agreement to permit the opening of humanitarian corridors.