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Honoring the head of the Red Cross to the dictator Ramzan Kadyrov |  the world

Honoring the head of the Red Cross to the dictator Ramzan Kadyrov | the world

Photo sent by the Human Rights Ombudsman of Ukraine to the International Federation. Ramzan Kadyrov in the middle and Pavel Savtyuk to his right.

Dmytro Lobinets, the Ukrainian Ombudsman for Human Rights, called on the International Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies several times last year to exclude Russia from the organization.

After Expressen in an international collaboration revealed the close ties between the head of the Russian Red Cross and the regime of Vladimir Putin, they made new demands. Lobinets met this week with the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Kremlin leaks

Within the framework of international cooperation, Expressen is examining the leak from the Kremlin.

The documents were leaked to Estonian media house Delfi, which shared the material with Expressen, German media outlets Paper Trail Media, Spiegel, ZDF, Australian Standard, Swiss Tamedia, independent Russian newsrooms Meduza and IStories, as well as Vsquare and Central Europe. Polish Frontstory.pl.

He then handed over a number of new documents showing the Russian Red Cross's ties to the regime. Among the evidence is a copy of a post the head of the Russian Red Cross made on social media in 2019 – two years before he took office as head of the Red Cross. Then he was part of the leadership of the national organization “All-Russian People's Front” and also the leader of a volunteer organization of medical workers.

Kidnapping and torture

The post is about a trip to the Russian republic of Chechnya, ruled by Ramzan Kadyrov, who is notorious for his crimes against human rights and who, according to Kremlin-backed human rights organizations, is behind them. Systematic kidnapping, illegal imprisonment, torture and collective punishment.

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In 2017, the United States issued sanctions on Kadyrov because, according to the United States, he was guilty of, among other things, “extrajudicial killing and torture.”

Ramzan Kadyrov in October 2022 during a parade in Grozny to celebrate Vladimir Putin's 70th birthday.

Photo: TASS/CEPAUSA/TT

But in the post published by Pavel Savtjuk, the Chechen president was praised unreservedly.

Ramzan Kadyrov and Pavel Savtyuk.

Savtjuk describes how they talked for an hour and a half, “an interesting and interesting conversation. Maybe this is what a leader should be: self-confident, calm, charismatic. I got a very positive impression after the meeting and the region as a whole,” wrote Pavel Savtjuk.

He also published a photo of himself next to Kadyrov in the post.

“Go here, there's a lot to see here,” the post concludes.

Pavel Savtjuk with Kate Forbes, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Previous audits have shown, among other things, how the Russian Red Cross cooperates with a children's camp in Crimea involved in the kidnapping and re-education of Ukrainian children. Dmytro Lobinets provided new information regarding these cases as well.

Patience is running out

In an interview with Expressen and our partners Delfi and PaperTrail Media, he then said that patience was running out and if Russia was not excluded, they would launch a campaign.

-We Ukrainians do not have much time. Every day that the International Federation fails to act means another day that organizations support Russian aggression against my homeland. I'm desperate. I wrote a lot of letters, he said then.

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Two weeks ago, the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies announced that it had appointed a special monitoring group to review how the Russian Red Cross adheres to the organization's basic principles of neutrality and independence.

An Expressen correspondent tries to ask questions to Pavel Savtjuk outside the headquarters of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva.

Photo: Jens Christian

When Expressen met Pavel Savtjuk outside the headquarters of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, he declined to comment on the review.

Read more: The Red Cross participates in Russian military training for children